Philosophical challenges in teaching bioethics: The importance of professional medical ethics and its history for bioethics

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (4):395 – 402 (2002)
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The papers in this number of the Journal originated in a session sponsored by the American Philosophical Association's Committee on Philosophy and Medicine in 1999. The four papers and two commentaries identify and address philosophical challenges of how we should understand and teach bioethics in the liberal arts and health professions settings. In the course of introducing the six papers, this article explores themes these papers raise, especially the relationship among professional medical ethics, the "long history" of medical ethics, and bioethics. The tendency of bioethics to deprofessionalize medical ethics is rejected, in favor of an historically informed professional medical ethics. It is suggested that bioethics should be critically reconsidered from the perspective of medical ethics as professional ethics.



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Laurence McCullough
Baylor College of Medicine

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