As medical technology advances and severely injured or ill people can be kept alive and functioning long beyond what was previously medically possible, the debate surrounding the ethics of end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues has grown more urgent. In this lucid and vigorous book, Craig Paterson discusses assisted suicide and euthanasia from a fully fledged but non-dogmatic secular natural law perspective. He rehabilitates and revitalises the natural law approach to moral reasoning by developing a pluralistic account of just why (...) we are required by practical rationality to respect and not violate key demands generated by the primary goods of persons, especially human life. Important issues that shape the moral quality of an action are explained and analysed: intention/foresight; action/omission; action/consequences; killing/letting die; innocence/non-innocence; person/non-person. Paterson defends the central normative proposition that ‘it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person, whether self or another, notwithstanding any further appeal to consequences or motive’. (shrink)
Language suggestive of natural law ethics, similar to the Catholic understanding of ethical foundations, is prevalent in a number of disciplines. But it does not always issue in a full-blooded commitment to objective ethics, being undermined by relativist ethical currents. In law and politics, there is a robust conception of "human rights", but it has become somewhat detached from both the worth of persons in themselves and from duties. In education, talk of "values" imports ethical considerations but hints (...) at a subjectivist view of them. In the psychology and sociology of drug use, ethically thin concepts of "harm minimisation" and "selfimage" dominate discussion and distract attention from the virtue of temperance and the training of character. A more forceful assertion of an ethics based on the worth of persons in these cases would be most desirable. Arguments against objectivity in the fundamentals may be replied to by examining the parallel between ethics and the discipline whose objectivity has been least challenged by relativist arguments, mathematics. (shrink)
Recent food emergencies throughout the world have raised some serious ethical and legal concerns for nations and health organizations. While the legal regulations addressing food risks and foodborne illnesses are considerably varied and variously effective, less is known about the ethical treatment of the subject. The purpose of this article is to discuss the roles, justifications, and limits of ethics of food safety as part of public health ethics and to argue for the development of this timely and (...) emergent field of ethics. The article is divided into three parts. After a short introduction on public health ethics, all levels of food safety processes are described and the role that ethics play in each of these levels is then analyzed. In the second part, different models describing the function of food law are examined. The relationship between these models and the role of ethics of food safety is assessed and discussed in the final part, leading to some relevant comments on the limits of the role and effect of ethics of food safety. (shrink)
Although the role of ethics in modern Jewish thought has been widely explored, major works by foundational philosophers remain largely absent from such discussions. This essay contributes to the recovery of these voices, focusing on the Hebrew writings of Moses Mendelssohn and Nachman Krochmal. I argue that these texts reveal the existence of a shared ethical project animating these founding philosophical voices of Jewish modernity, and that reconstructing their claims contributes to broader conversations about the relationship between ethics (...) and law. Mendelssohn and Krochmal present Jewish law as addressing needs emerging from the history of moral philosophy—from the modern histories of Platonic and Aristotelian ethics. Moreover, my reading highlights these thinkers’ ongoing relevance, suggesting that their work illuminates the role of law in ethical cultivation. (shrink)
Rawls says that public reason is the reason of the citizens of a democratic state and takes the Supreme Court in the USA as the exemplar of public reason. It differs from non public reason, which is used e.g., in universities and academic institutions. Rawls contrasts with Kant, which opposes the public reason of the scholar—or the philosopher—, who speaks before the world, to the private reason of state or church officials. The later, once they accept an authority, cannot think (...) by themselves (selbst denken). A closer examination shows that Rawls is not so far from Kant as it seems, because he takes the constitutional judges not as they are, but as they should be. However Rawls still apparently refuses Kant’s unity of reason. Further investigation of the relations between ethical reason, democratic reason and legal reason is needed. Democratic reason is tantamount both to public reason and to legal reason in a modern constitutional state. It is a requirement of ethics but still not identical with ethical reason, since it is possible to accept democratic reason and to argue against it from an ethical point of view. There is just one good way of reasoning, in spite of the constraints that the sources of law and the rules of procedure impose on legal reasoning, compared with ethics. Such constraints are based on the democratic principle, which is again based on ethical reason, which at last both grounds and limits the constraints that law imposes on reason. (shrink)
In the past twenty years Joseph Raz has consolidated his reputation as one of the most acute, inventive, and energetic scholars currently at work in analytic moral and political theory. This new collection of essays forms a representative selection of his most significant contributions to a number of important debates, including the extent of political duty and obligation, and the issue of self-determination. He also examines aspects of the common (and ancient) theme of the relations between law and morality. This (...) volume of essays, available in one volume for the first time, will be essential to legal philosophers and political theorists. (shrink)
The processes of economic integration induced by globalization have brought about a certain type of legal practice that challenges the core values of legal ethics. Law firms seeking to represent the interests of internationally active corporate clients must embrace and systematically apply concepts of strategic management and planning and install corporate business structures to sustain competition for lucrative clients. These measures bear a high conflict potential with the core values of legal ethics. However, we observe in parallel a (...) global consolidation of these core values through an enhanced cooperation of national professional bodies, the use of international codes, and comparative legal ethics teaching and research. Furthermore, state regulation of the legal profession is concerned with preserving the core values of legal ethics to conserve the lawyer's role in upholding the rule of law. This article defends that legal ethics is adapting to the pressures exerted by "managerial" approaches to legal practice without this altering core values that underlie legal ethics. (shrink)
In _The Priority of Prudence_, Daniel Mark Nelson proposes a reappropriation of a moral perspective that focuses on the cardinal virtues of courage, temperance, justice, and prudence. The study aims to recover and rehabilitate the virtue of prudence as a way of resuming a moral conversation that has been stalemated for too long. Nelson's main source for reviving the virtue of prudence is St. Thomas Aquinas's account of the cardinal virtues in the _Summa Theologica_. A primary problem with using Aquinas (...) as a source for reviving an ethics of virtue centered on prudence is that he is commonly perceived as the most prominent figure in the conflicting natural-law tradition. According to Nelson's reinterpretation, however, Aquinas teaches that moral understanding depends first and foremost on prudence working in accord with other cardinal virtues and that natural law functions to explain moral reasoning rather than to guide it. This study serves to advance the debate about the contemporary relevance of an ethics of virtue by way of its significantly more detailed explication of prudence. Nelson makes important connections between influential reinterpretations of the ethical theory of Aquinas that have been published during the last thirty years and widespread interest in an ethics of virtue that has been expressed by Alasdair Maclntyre, Stanley Hauerwas, William Sullivan, Robert Bellah, and others. _The Priority of Prudence _represents a significant contribution to the scholarly literature both in the study of Aquinas and in the debate on the ethics of virtue. (shrink)
Continual corporate malfeasance signals the need for obeying the law and for enhancing business ethics perspectives. Yet, the relationship between law and ethics and its integrative role in defining values are often unclear. While integrity-based ethics programs emphasize ethics values more than law or compliance, viewing ethics as being integrated with law may enhance understanding of an organization’s core values. The author refers to this integration of law and ethics as “substantive ethics,” analogous (...) to the substantive law that evolves over time, which is applied to ethical breaches and carries sanctions for non-compliance. This article describes the integration of law and ethics as a mid-point between two polar views that define law and ethics either as having no relation or as being one and the same. Since corporations expressly state which laws they follow, a sample of corporate compliance statements is used to demonstrate this integrative mid-point. The sample also reveals that corporate ethics codes rarely express ethics and law as being integrated per se. Therefore, the author creates an example of a securities law compliance statement that is introduced with an integrative perspective of law and ethics. Perhaps such revised corporate codes will encourage corporate respect for both law and ethics and enhance ethical sustainability. (shrink)
Despite the importance of the co-evolution approach in various branches of research, such as strategy, organisation theory, complexity, population ecology, technology and innovation (Lewin et al., 1999; March, 1991), co-evolution has been relatively neglected in international business and ethics research (Madhok and Phene, 2001). The purpose of this article is to show how co-evolution theory provides a theoretical framework within which some issues of ethics research are addressed. Our analysis is in the context of the contrasts between business (...) systems (North, 1990), and in particular the distinction between informal systems and those systems where institutions are formalised in law. This complements the growing research on comparative corporate governance and capitalisms (Chandler and Hikino, 1990; Choi et al., 1999; Whitley, 1994). The synthesis of co-evolution and analysis of divergent institutional environments in ethics research can also complement the globalisation and MNE approaches to international business research. (shrink)
The theories of information ethics articulated by Luciano Floridi and his collaborators have clear implications for law. Information law, including the law of privacy and of intellectual property, is especially likely to benefit from a coherent and comprehensive theory of information ethics. This article illustrates how information ethics might apply to legal doctrine, by examining legal questions related to the ownership and control of the personal data representations, including photographs, game avatars, and consumer profiles, that have become (...) ubiquitous with the proliferation of information and communication technologies. Recent controversy over the control of player performance statistics in “fantasy” sports leagues provides a limiting case for the analysis. Such data representations will in many instances constitute the kind of personal data that information ethics asserts constitutes an information entity. Legal doctrine in some instances proves sympathetic to such an assertion, but remains largely inchoate as to which data might constitute a given information entity in a given instance. Neither is information ethics, in its current state of development, entirely helpful in answering this critical question. While information ethics holds some promise to bring coherence to this area of the law, further work articulating a richer theory of information ethics will be necessary before it can do so. (shrink)
In recent decades, the revival of natural law theory in modern moral philosophy has been an exciting and important development. Human Values brings together an international group of moral philosophers who in various respects share the aims and ideals of natural law ethics. In their diverse ways, these authors make distinctive and original contributions to the continuing project of developing natural law ethics as a comprehensive treatment of modern ethical theory and practice.
For the past 30 years, the Melbourne urologist Dr Rodney Syme has quietly—and more recently, not-so-quietly—assisted terminally and permanently ill people to die. This paper draws on Syme’s recent book, A Good Death: An Argument for Voluntary Euthanasia , to identify and to reflect on some important challenges to what I outline as the traditional account of law, ethics, and end of life decisions. Among the challenges Syme makes to the traditional view is his argument that physicians’ intentions are (...) frail and unfairly expose physicians to moral and legal censure. Secondly, Syme argues that physician-assisted dying (PAD) should be framed as a form of palliative care, not as a kind of safety-chute for when palliative care fails. Thirdly, Syme himself is a rare breed: a dissident doctor who has opened himself up for scrutiny and criticism, by reflecting publicly on his experiences at the edge of the law. Syme’s career illustrates that prohibition, just like legalization, is a social policy that carries social consequences. The paper acknowledges the variability and idiosyncratic nature of extra-legal physician-assisted dying, and argues that the best way forward is to attempt to weigh the social consequences of both policies. Advocates and opponents of PAD should recognize that both prohibition and legalization involve trade-offs and impose possible costs on patients and on society. (shrink)
Halakhah and ethics in the Jesus tradition -- Matthew's divorce texts in the light of pre-rabbinic Jewish law -- Let the dead bury their dead : Jesus and the law revisited -- James, Israel, and Antioch -- Natural law in Second Temple Judaism -- Natural law in the New Testament? -- The Noachide commandments and New Testament ethics -- The beginning of Christian public ethics : from Luke to Aristides and Diognetus -- Jewish and Christian public (...) class='Hi'>ethics in the early Roman Empire. (shrink)
The article deals with the relationship between theological ethics and moral philosophy. The former is seen as a theoretical reflection on Christian ethics, the latter as one on secular ethics. The main questions asked are: Is there one and only one pre-theoretical knowledge about acting rightly? Does philosophy provide us with the theoretical framework for understanding both Christian and secular ethics? Both questions are answered in the negative. In the course of argument, four positions are presented: (...) theological unificationism, philosophical unificationism, theological separationism and Lutheran dualism. It is argued that the latter position is most convincing. It is dual in the sense of being both a theory of Christian ethics and of including a recognition of natural law. Hence, it unites a particularistic and a universalistic point of view. In the last section a reformulation of the Lutheran position is attempted in making use of the ethical theory of Knud E. Løgstrup''s The Ethical Demand. (shrink)
The paper provides a qualified defence of Bruce Waller’s deductivist schema for a priori analogical arguments in ethics and law. One crucial qualification is that the schema represents analogical arguments as complexes composed of one deductive inference but also of one non-deductive subargument. Another important qualification is that the schema is informed by normative assumptions regarding the conditions that an analogical argument must satisfy in order for it to count as an optimal instance of its kind. Waller’s schema is (...) defended from criticisms formulated by Trudy Govier, Marcello Guarini and Lilian Bermejo-Luque. (shrink)
Although there is consensus on the fact that ionizing radiation used in radiological examinations can affect health, the stochastic nature of risk makes it difficult to anticipate and assess specific health implications for patients. The issue of radiation protection is peculiar as any dosage received in life is cumulative, the sensitivity to radiation is highly variable from one person to another, and between 20 % and 50 % of radiological examinations appear not to be necessary. In this context, one might (...) reasonably assume that information and patient consent would play an important role in regulating radiological practice. However, there is to date no clear consensus regarding the nature and content of—or even need for—consent by patients exposed to ionizing radiation. While law and ethics support the same principles for respecting the dignity of the person, in the context of radiology practice, they do not provide a consistent message to guide clinical decision-making. This article analyzes the issue of healthcare professionals’ duty to inform and obtain patient consent for radiological examinations. Considering that both law and ethics have as one of their aims to protect vulnerable populations, it is important that they begin to give greater attention to issues raised by the use of ionizing radiation in medicine. While the situation in Canada serves as a backdrop for a reflective analysis of the problem, the conclusions are pertinent for professional practice in other jurisdictions because the principles underlying health law and jurisprudence are fairly general. (shrink)
This paper aims to clarify the nature and contents of 'civil ethics' and the source of the binding force of its obligations. This ethics should provide the criteria for evaluating the moral validity of social, legal and morally valid law. The article starts with observing that in morally pluralist Western societies civil ethics already exists, and has gradually started to play the role of guiding the law. It is argued that civil ethics should not be conceived (...) as 'civic morals' which is in fact rather 'state ethics', nor as 'public ethics' which is said to reach its perfection when it becomes law, nor as ethics applicable primarily to the basic structure of a society (political liberalism), but instead as a citizens' ethics. Subsequently the paper attempts to show what the contents of this ethics are, and which ethical theory would be able to ground its obligations. (shrink)
This paper describes the different dimensions of the relation between moral reflection and legislative processes. It discusses some examples of the institutionalisation of moral reflection. It is argued that the relation between ethics and law is still an actual and relevant question. Ethics also has to reflect on its own role in political life. The paper defends the relevance of a theological perspective on the relation between law and ethics. In the last part it is argued that (...) the modality of relation between ethics and law depends on the specific character of social domain. (shrink)
Do citizens have an obligation to obey the law? This book differs from standard approaches by shifting from the language of obedience to that of deference. The popular view that law claims authority but does not have it is here reversed on both counts: law does not claim authority but has it. Though the focus is on political obligation, the author approaches that issue indirectly by first developing a more general account of when deference is due to the view of (...) others. Two standard practices that political theorists often consider in exploring the question of political obligation - fair-play and promise-keeping - can themselves be seen as examples of a duty of deference. In this respect the book defends a more general theory of ethics whose scope extends beyond the question of political obligation to questions of duty in the case of law, promises, fair play and friendship. (shrink)
There have been serious controversies in the latter part of the 20th century about the roles and functions of scientific and medical research. In whose interests are medical and biomedical experiments conducted and what are the ethical implications of experimentation on subjects unable to give competent consent? From the decades following the Second World War and calls for the global banning of medical research to the cautious return to the notion that in controlled circumstances, medical research on human subjects is (...) in the best interest of the given individual and the broader population, this book addresses the key implications of experimentation on humans. This volume covers major ethical themes within biomedical research providing historical, philosophical, legal and policy reflections on the literature and specific issues in the field of research on human subjects. Focusing on special populations (the elderly, children, prisoners and the cognitively impaired) it represents the most up-to-date review of the special ethical and legal conflicts that arise with relation to experimentation on subjects from these groups. In the light of current initiatives for law reform pertaining to research ethics the world over, this volume provides a timely, comprehensive and provocative exploration of the field. The volume has been carefully organized to present important philosophical perspectives on organizing principles that should underlie any practical application. A forward-looking historical review of the regulatory regimes of principal jurisdictions, including of the legal controls already in place, provides the backdrop for future policy initiatives. Additionally, in the light of global restructuring of health care systems, several chapters have been devoted to epidemiological research and related issues. (shrink)
Since the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and more recent Federal legislation, managers, regulators, and attorneys have been busy in sorting out the legal meaning of fairness in employment. While ethical managers must follow the law in their hiring practices, they cannot be satisfied with legal compliance. In this article, we first briefly summarize what the law requires in terms of fair hiring practices. We subsequently rely on multiple perspectives to explore the ethical meaning (...) of fairness in hiring. Ethical fairness underlies the law and regulations in this area, but goes beyond them as well. We conclude by demonstrating that ethical hiring practices enable managers to make better hiring decisions. (shrink)
In Islamic law paternity is treated as a consequence of a licit sexual relationship. Since DNA testing makes a clear distinction between legal and biological paternity possible, it challenges the continued correlation between paternity and marriage. This article explores the foundations of paternity regulations in the Islamic ethico-legal tradition, with a particular focus on what is termed here “the licit sex principle,” and investigates the extent to which a harm-based argument can be made either by appeal to or against Islamic (...) paternity regulations. It argues that in Islamic bioethics the definition of harm and its boundaries is a function of both: (1) identification of legal and religious rights and the extent to which these rights are violated; and (2) balancing and reconciling perceived harm against both specific principles in relation to a given issue and also the overarching objectives of Islamic law. The article is divided into three main sections addressing the Islamic legal, ethical, and bioethical dimensions of paternity. (shrink)
Introduction -- Historical perspectives of medical ethics -- The medical ethics Renaissance: a brief assessment -- Risk disclosure/'informed consent' -- Consent, control and minors: Gillick and beyond -- Sterilisation/best interests: legislation intervenes -- The end of life: total abrogation -- Medical ethics in government-commissioned reports -- Conclusion.
As medical technology advances and severely injured or ill people can be kept alive and functioning long beyond what was previously medically possible, the debate surrounding the ethics of end-of-life care and quality-of-life issues has grown more urgent. In this lucid and vigorous book, Craig Paterson discusses assisted suicide and euthanasia from a fully fledged but non-dogmatic secular natural law perspective. He rehabilitates and revitalises the natural law approach to moral reasoning by developing a pluralistic account of just why (...) we are required by practical rationality to respect and not violate key demands generated by the primary goods of persons, especially human life. Important issues that shape the moral quality of an action are explained and analysed: intention/foresight; action/omission; action/consequences; killing/letting die; innocence/non-innocence; person/non-person. Paterson defends the central normative proposition that ’it is always a serious moral wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human person, whether self or another, notwithstanding any further appeal to consequences or motive’. (shrink)
Karl Barth and the displacement of natural law in contemporary Protestant theology -- Development of the natural-law tradition through the high Middle Ages -- John Calvin and the natural knowledge of God the Creator -- Peter Martyr Vermigli and the natural knowledge of God the Creator -- Natural law in the thought of Johannes Althusius -- Francis Turretin and the natural knowledge of God the Creator.
In his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant’s desiderata for a supreme principle of practical reasoning and morality require that the subjective conditions under which some action is thought of as justified via some maxim be sufficient for judging the same action as justified by any agent in those conditions. This describes the kind of universalization conditions now known as moral supervenience. But when he specifies his “formula of universal law” (FUL) Kant replaces this condition with a quite different (...) kind of universality: the judgment that some agent could rationally (i.e., without willing the frustration of his own valued ends) will his adoption of some maxim under the condition that this would cause all agents in his world to adopt it as well. Our wills typically lack this efficacy, so requiring that our wills conform to what would be rational for a hypothetical agent in this situation to will is a heteronomous requirement. Several intuitively wrong maxims pass Kant’s test but fail the test of supervenience, because they generate no contradiction in a world of universal compliance but do so in non-ideal worlds, demonstrating the inadequacy of the FUL and the logical superiority of moral supervenience. (shrink)
Accounts of natural law moral philosophy and theology sought principles and precepts for morality, law, and other forms of social authority, whose prescriptive force was not dependent for validity on human decision, social influence, past tradition, or cultural convention, but through natural reason itself. This volume critically explores and assesses our contemporary culture wars in terms of: the possibility of natural law moral philosophy and theology to provide a unique, content-full, canonical morality; the character and nature of moral pluralism; the (...) limits of justifiable national and international policy seeking to produce and preserve human happiness, social justice, and the common good; the ways in which morality, moral epistemology, and social political reform must be set within the broader context of an appropriately philosophically and theologically anchored anthropology. This work will be of interest to philosophers, theologians, bioethicists, ethicists and political scientists. (shrink)
An introduction to the philosophy of law, which offers a modern and critical appraisal of all the main issues and problems. This has become a very active area in the last ten years, and one on which philosophers, legal practitioners and theorists and social scientists have tended to converge. The more abstract questions about the nature of law and its relationship to social norms and moral standards are now seen to be directly relevant to more practical and indeed pressing questions (...) about the justification of punishment, civil disobedience, the enforcement of morality, and problems about justice, rights, welfare, and freedom. David Lyons is a shrewd, clear and systematic guide through this tangled area. The book presupposes no formal training in law or philosophy and is intended to serve as a textbook in a range of introductory courses. (shrink)
Abstract: Despite the recent rash of corporate scandals and the resulting rush to address the problem by adding more laws and regulations, seemingly little attention has been paid to how the nature (not the substance) of rules may or may not affect ethical decision-making. Drawing on work in law, ethics, management, psychology, and other social sciences, this article explores how several characteristics of rules may interfere with the process of reaching and implementing ethical decisions. Such a relationship would have (...) practical implications for regulatory policy and managers of organizations, and the article concludes by suggesting how regulations and corporate ethics programs should be able to improve the ethical culture of business and enhance the ethical decision-making skills of employees. (shrink)
This collection of essays, brings together essays from leading figures in the field of medical law and ethics. The compilation of articles undertaken by Prof. Sheila A.M. McLean, University of Glasgow, UK, address the key issues currently challenging scholars in the field.
The incident in May-June 2007 involving a U.S. citizen traveling internationally while infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis involved the U.S. federal government's application of its quarantine and isolation powers. The incident and the isolation order raised numerous important issues for public health governance, law, and ethics. This article explores many of these issues by examining how the exercise of quarantine powers provides a powerful lens through which to understand how societies respond to and attempt to govern threats posed by dangerous, (...) contagious pathogens. The article considers historical aspects of governmental power to quarantine and isolate individuals and groups; analyzes the current state of quarantine and isolation law in the United States in light of the recent incident with drug-resistant tuberculosis; and explores global aspects of public health governance and law highlighted by this incident. (shrink)