Where the ethical action is

J Med Ethics. 2021 Dec 24;medethics-2021-107925. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2021-107925. Online ahead of print.


It is common to think of medical and ethical modes of thought as different in kind. In such terms, some clinical situations are made more complicated by an additional ethical component. Against this picture, we propose that medical and ethical modes of thought are not different in kind, but merely different aspects of what it means to be human. We further propose that clinicians are uniquely positioned to synthesise these two aspects without prior knowledge of philosophical ethics.

Keywords: ethics-medical; philosophy-medical.