Theoretical Medicine

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 65–74

Casuistry and clinical ethics

  • Albert R. Jonsen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00489424

Cite this article as:
Jonsen, A.R. Theor Med Bioeth (1986) 7: 65. doi:10.1007/BF00489424


For the last century, moral philosophy has stressed theory for the analysis of moral argument and concepts. In the last decade, interest in the ethical issues of health care has stimulated attention to cases and particular instances. This has revealed the gap between ethical theory and practice. This article reviews the history and method of casuistry which for many centuries provided an approach to practical ethics. Its strengths and weaknesses are noted and its potential for contemporary use explored.

Key words

Casuistry Clinical ethics Case study Practical ethics 

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert R. Jonsen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoU.S.A.

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