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David Kirchhoffer
Australian Catholic University
  1.  45
    Human Dignity and Human Enhancement: A Multidimensional Approach.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2017 - Bioethics 31 (5):375-383.
    In the debates concerning the ethics of human enhancement through biological or technological modifications, there have been several appeals to the concept of human dignity, both by those favouring such enhancement and by those opposing it. The result is the phenomenon of ‘dignity talk', where opposing sides both appeal to the concept of human dignity to ground their arguments resulting in a moral impasse. This article examines the use of the concept of human dignity in the enhancement debates and reveals (...)
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  2.  18
    Beneficence in Research Ethics.David G. Kirchhoffer, C. Favor & C. Cordner - 2019 - In D. Kirchhoffer & B. Richards (eds.), Beyond Autonomy: Limits and Alternatives to Informed Consent in Research Ethics and Law. Cambridge:
    This chapter examines the explicit and implicit roles that the concept of beneficence plays in the guidelines that govern biomedical research involving humans. We suggest that the role beneficence is actually playing in the guidelines is more comprehensive than is commonly assumed. The broader conceptualisation of beneficence proposed here clarifies the relationship of beneficence to respect for autonomy. It does this by showing how respect for autonomy is at the service of beneficence rather than in tension with it.
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  3.  15
    Dignity, Being and Becoming in Research Ethics.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2019 - In D. Kirchhoffer & B. Richards (eds.), Beyond Autonomy: Limits and Alternatives to Informed Consent in Research Ethics and Law. Cambridge:
    Since the end of World War II, most guidelines governing human research seem to have relied on the principle of respect for autonomy as a key, though not sole, criterion in assessing the moral validity of research involving human participants.1 One explanation for this apparent reliance on respect for autonomy may be that respect for autonomy, made effective through the practice of obtaining informed consent, functions as a useful proxy when dealing with competent adults for the more complex principle of (...)
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  4.  18
    Benedict XVI, Human Dignity, and Absolute Moral Norms.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2010 - New Blackfriars 91 (1035):586-608.
    Pope Benedict XVI often uses the concept of the dignity of the human person in his discourse. This article firstly attempts to present a synthesis of Benedict XVI's understanding of human dignity. The result is a multidimensional understanding of human dignity based on the belief that the human person is created in the image of God. Human dignity is constituted by the given‐ness of human existence, the capacities inherent in being human—freedom, reason, love and community—and the telos of human existence, (...)
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  5.  24
    Bioethics and the Demise of the Concept of Human Dignity.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2011 - Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 17 (2):141-154.
    The rise of “dignity talk” has led to the concept of human dignity being criticized in recent years. Some critics argue that human dignity must either be something we have or something we acquire. Others argue that there is no such thing as human dignity and people really mean something else when they appeal to it. Both “dignity talk” and the criticisms arise from a problematic conception of medical ethics as a legalistic, procedural techne. A retrieval of hermeneutical ethics, by (...)
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  6.  30
    Become What You Are: On the Value of the Concept of Human Dignity as an Ethical Criterion in Light of Contemporary Critiques.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2009 - Bijdragen 70 (1):45-66.
    It has been said that human dignity is a vacuous concept that should, therefore, be dismissed as an ethical category. This article seeks to defend the concept of human dignity by suggesting, first, that the flaw in the logic of those who claim that human dignity is a vacuous concept lies in an unjustifiable reductionism that results from the hermeneutic of suspicion that such authors apply to the concept. Second, that human dignity is not an either/or concept, as these authors (...)
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  7.  7
    Dignity, Autonomy, and Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources During COVID-19.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2020 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (4):691-696.
    Ruth Macklin argued that dignity is nothing more than respect for persons or their autonomy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, difficult decisions are being made about the allocation of scarce resources. Respect for autonomy cannot justify rationing decisions. Justice can be invoked to justify rationing. However, this leaves an uncomfortable tension between the principles. Dignity is not a useless concept because it is able to account for why we respect autonomy and for why it can be legitimate to override autonomy in (...)
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  8.  12
    Introduction: The Limits of Respect for Autonomy.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2019 - In D. Kirchhoffer & B. Richards (eds.), Beyond Autonomy: Limits and Alternatives to Informed Consent in Research Ethics and Law. Cambridge:
    This book makes an important contribution to ongoing efforts in the fields of medical law and bioethics to answer the challenges posed by the limitations of the principle of respect for autonomy, especially as these pertain to human research ethics. The principle of respect for autonomy seems to have become firmly embedded in human research ethics since its inclusion in the 1947 Nuremberg Code, which was a response to atrocities committed by Nazi doctors. Nonetheless, there is an increasing awareness of (...)
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  9.  10
    Preparing for the Synod on the Family.David G. Kirchhoffer & Natalie Lindner L’Huillier - 2014 - Intams Review 20 (1):111--117.
    Australians responded enthusiastically to the calling of the Synod, though there appears to be a tension between expectations of doctrinal reform and pastoral reform. The Bishops Conference allowed each diocese to consult as it saw fit and submit its findings, in light of which a committee of four bishops drafted the official submission to the Synod. Other materials were also sent to the Synod office, including some directly by dioceses and other Catholic organisations. The dioceses surveyed made the preparatory document (...)
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  10.  13
    Public Reasoning About Voluntary Assisted Dying: An Analysis of Submissions to the Queensland Parliament, Australia.David G. Kirchhoffer & Chi‐Wai Lui - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (1):105-116.
    The use of voluntary assisted dying as an end‐of‐life option has stimulated concerns and debates over the past decades. Although public attitudes towards voluntary assisted dying (including euthanasia and physician‐assisted suicide) are well researched, there has been relatively little study of the different reasons, normative reasoning and rhetorical strategies that people invoke in supporting or contesting voluntary assisted dying in everyday life. Using a mix of computational textual mining techniques, keyword study and qualitative thematic coding to analyse public submissions to (...)
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  11.  11
    Questioning Human Dignity: The Dimensions of Dignity Model as a Bridge Between Cosmopolitanism and the Particular.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2016 - In Religion and Culture in Dialogue. Springer Verlag. pp. 167--179.
    The claim that human dignity is universal is challenged by the particular experience of the horrible things people do to others. If dignity is just a ‘vacuous concept’ then the notion of universal human rights and the claim of cosmopolitism that all human beings for a single moral community are also called into question. A close reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an analysis the historical development of the text reveals a complex conception of human dignity expressed (...)
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  12.  28
    Turtles All The Way Down?: Pressing Questions for Theological Anthropology in the Twenty-First Century.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2014 - In Lieven Boeve, Yves De Maeseneer & Ellen Van Stiche (eds.), Questioning the Human: Toward a Theological Anthropology for the Twenty-First Century. New York:
    With a challenging title, based on an anecdote about a dialogue between a scientist/philosopher and a lady on the structure of the universe, David Kirchhoffer proposes that the insight that human beings are the world (rather than merely live in the world) should be our starting point for reflections on theological anthropology. Relationality thus being the key-word for an up-to-date theological anthropology, this chapter discusses the main challenges that such an anthropology faces: first, anthropocentrism (challenged by the ecological crises, the (...)
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  13.  9
    The Roman Catholic Church on the Secularization of the Concept of Human Dignity.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2016 - Louvain Studies 39 (3):240--260.
    The claim that human dignity is universal is challenged by the particular experience of the horrible things people do to others. If dignity is just a ‘vacuous concept’ then the notion of universal human rights and the claim of cosmopolitism that all human beings for a single moral community are also called into question. A close reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and an analysis the historical development of the text reveals a complex conception of human dignity expressed (...)
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  14.  17
    What We Have Learned: Catholic Social Thought and the Movements in Australia.David G. Kirchhoffer - 2013 - Journal of Catholic Social Thought 10 (2):401-411.