Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 509–524

Casuistry and Principlism: The Convergence of Method in Biomedical Ethics

  • Mark Kuczewski

DOI: 10.1023/A:1009904125910

Cite this article as:
Kuczewski, M. Theor Med Bioeth (1998) 19: 509. doi:10.1023/A:1009904125910


Casuistry and principlism are two of the leading contenders to be considered the methodology of bioethics. These methods may be incommensurable since the former emphasizes the examination of cases while the latter focuses on moral principles. Conversely, since both analyze cases in terms of mid-level principles, there is hope that these methods may be reconcilable or complementary. I analyze the role of principles in each and thereby show that these theories are virtually identical when interpreted in a certain light. That is, if the gaps in each method are filled by a concept of judgment or Aristotelian practical wisdom, these methods converge.

casuistrycase-based reasoningethical principlesfour principles approachprinciplismpractical wisdomprudencemedical ethicsAristotle

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Kuczewski
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of BioethicsMedical College of WisconsinWIUSA