, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 119-122
Date: 11 Nov 2006

Response to Westin and Nilstun

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Credit should be given to Westin and Nilstun in for the preceding article’s thoughtful and detailed analysis of the ethical problems posed by ischemic heart disease within the context of Western medicine and society, and for highlighting the shortcomings of principles in providing normative action-guides when applied to such situations in the manner described. However, certain reservations may be expressed as to whether this manner of applying principles is indeed a fair or generally accepted interpretation of the thought behind them, and as to whether the authors’ implied solution to these difficulties is either a viable or necessary one. To this end, the following article will examine some of the assumptions underlying Westin and Nilstun’s account of how the competing demands of principles are to be balanced and specified and by offering a contrasting, more flexible view of the use of principles suggests several possible solutions to the problems they describe and reaffirm the value ...