The debate around the ethics of homeopathy in recent issues of the journal has been approached as a binary question; is homeopathy ethical or not? This paper suggests that this is an unhelpful question and instead discusses a framework to establish the extent to which the dominant (medical) culture should tolerate non-dominant health practices such as homeopathy.
In a recent paper, Levy, Gadd, Kerridge, and Komesaroff attempt to defend the ethicality of homeopathy by attacking the utilitarian ethical framework as a basis for medical ethics and by introducing a distinction between evidence-based medicine and modern science. This paper demonstrates that their argumentation is not only insufficient to achieve that goal but also incorrect.
The term "scientism" is used in a variety of ways with both negative and positive connotations. I suggest that some of these uses are inappropriate, as they aim simply at dismissing without argument an approach that a particular author does not like. However, there are legitimate negative uses of the term, which I explore by way of an analogy with the term "pseudoscience." I discuss these issues by way of a recent specific example provided by a controversy in the field of bioethics concerning the value, or lack thereof, of homeopathy.
The current normative debate on age-related biomedical innovations and the extension of the human lifespan has important shortcomings. Mainly, the complexity of the different normative dimensions relevant for ethical and/or juridicial norms is not fully developed and the normative quality of teleological and deontological arguments is not properly distinguished. This article addresses some of these shortcomings and develops the outline of a more comprehensive normative framework covering all relevant dimensions.
Disagreement over the legitimacy of direct sterilization continues within Catholic moral debate, with painful and at times confusing ramifications for Catholic healthcare systems. This paper argues that the medical profession should be construed as a key moral authority in this debate, on two grounds. First, the recent revival of neo-Aristotelianism in moral philosophy as applied to medical ethics has brought out the inherently moral dimensions of the history and current practice of medicine.
Discussions of genetic enhancements often imply deep suspicions about human desires to manipulate or enhance the course of our future. These unspoken assumptions about the arrogance of the quest for perfection are at odds with the normally hopeful resonancy we find in contemporary theology. The author argues that these fears, suspicions and accusations are misplaced. The problem lies not with the question of whether we should pursue perfection, but rather what perfection we are pursuing.
Business Ethics Quarterly: The Journal of the Society for Business Ethics
In this paper we highlight the emergence of organizational ethics issues in health care as an important outcome of the changing structure of health care delivery. We emphasize three core themes related to business ethics and health care ethics: integrity, responsibility, and choice. These themes are brought together in a discussion of the process of Mission Discernment as it has been developed and implemented within an integrated health care system.
Drawing chiefly on recent sources, in Part One I sketch an untraditional way of articulating what I claim to be central elements of traditional Catholic morality, treating it as based in virtues, focused on the recipients ("patients") of our attention and concern, and centered in certain person-to-person role-relationships. I show the limited and derivative places of "natural law," and therefore of sin, within that framework.
This article examines the account of the relationship between sin and suffering provided by J. L. A. Garcia in "Sin and Suffering in a Catholic Understanding of Medical Ethics," in this issue. Garcia draws on the (Roman) Catholic tradition and particularly on the thought of Thomas Aquinas, who remains an important resource for Catholic theology. Nevertheless, his interpretation of Thomas is open to criticism, both in terms of omissions and in terms of positive claims.
First of all a definition is given of "poverty" and "precaution". A short, by no means comprehensive, presentation of some especially relevant recent publications on both topics is included, with a view to offering also readers who are not familiar with these issues a broad overview of the specialised literature available. This is followed by a description of the solidarity concept, following various philosophical, cultural and religious trends, analysing their relationship with precaution.