Fitting Methods to Cases

Tom Tomlinson

in Methods in Medical Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780195161243
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950317 | DOI:
Fitting Methods to Cases

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This chapter uses specific bioethics controversies to illustrate both the limits and the uses of the various methods discussed in previous chapters. I start with a distinction between tools of moral justification, and tools of moral discovery. Some methods may be suited for one of these roles more than the other, and this may depend on the circumstances in which the method is used. I illustrate this and other features of various methods through detailed discussion of three kinds of controversies. A controversy regarding a case; a controversy about a bioethical principle; and a problem about a proposed policy. The examples demonstrate that different methods don’t line up neatly behind particular types of ethical problem. Instead, various methods play different roles within the course of reasoned deliberation.

Keywords: bioethics; medical ethics; moral reasoning; moral judgment; cases; principles; policy; pragmatic

Chapter.  7651 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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