Some things ought never be done: Moral absolutes in clinical ethics [Book Review]

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (6):469-486 (2005)

Abstract
Moral absolutes have little or no moral standing in our morally diverse modern society. Moral relativism is far more palatable for most ethicists and to the public at large. Yet, when pressed, every moral relativist will finally admit that there are some things which ought never be done. It is the rarest of moral relativists that will take rape, murder, theft, child sacrifice as morally neutral choices. In general ethics, the list of those things that must never be done will vary from person to person. In clinical ethics, however, the nature of the physician–patient relationship is such that certain moral absolutes are essential to the attainment of the good of the patient – the end of the relationship itself. These are all derivatives of the first moral absolute of all morality: Do good and avoid evil. In the clinical encounter, this absolute entails several subsidiary absolutes – act for the good of the patient, do not kill, keep promises, protect the dignity of the patient, do not lie, avoid complicity with evil. Each absolute is intrinsic to the healing and helping ends of the clinical encounter.
Keywords clinical encounter  dignity  moral absolute  moral relativism  physician–patient relationship  The good of the patient
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11017-005-2201-2
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,149
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Abortion and Infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65.
A Defense of the Common Morality.Tom L. Beauchamp - 2003 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 13 (3):259-274.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Gunther Von Hagens' Body Worlds: Selling Beautiful Education.Lawrence Burns - 2007 - American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):12 – 23.
Expectation and Suffering With LVAD Deactivation.Laura Guidry-Grimes & Nneka Sederstrom - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (7):74-76.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
391 ( #15,181 of 2,289,310 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #842,814 of 2,289,310 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature