Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (9):513-518 (2005)

A hitherto unexamined problem for the ‘‘Kantian ideal’’ that one should always treat patients as ends in themselves, and never only as a means to other ends, is explored in this paper. The problem consists of a prima facie conflict between this Kantian ideal and the reality of medical practice. This conflict arises because, at least presently, medical practitioners can only acquire certain skills and abilities by practising on live, human patients, and given the inevitability and ubiquity of learning curves, this learning requires some patients to be treated only as a means to this end. A number of ways of attempting to establish the compatibility of the Kantian Ideal with the reality of medical practice are considered. Each attempt is found to be unsuccessful. Accordingly, until a way is found to reconcile them, we conclude that the Kantian ideal is inconsistent with the reality of medical practice
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/jme.2004.009316
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,845
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Sasha Mudd - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (2):281-286.
Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.John R. Goodreau - 2000 - Review of Metaphysics 53 (3):699-701.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Primum Nocere: Medical Brain Drain and the Duty to Stay.Luara Ferracioli & Pablo De Lora - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):601-619.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kantian Monism.Uriah Kriegel - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):23-56.
How to Be a Kantian and a Naturalist About Human Knowledge.James R. O’Shea - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Research 36:327-359.
Expert and Non-Expert Knowledge in Medical Practice.Ingemar Nordin - 2000 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (3):295-302.
Dynamics of Reason and the Kantian Project.Maarten Van Dyck - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):689-700.
Connections and Guilt.Sharon Bishop - 1987 - Hypatia 2 (1):7 - 23.


Added to PP index

Total views
22 ( #478,893 of 2,426,097 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #543,466 of 2,426,097 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes