On a communitarian approach to bioethics

  • Amitai EtzioniEmail author


A communitarian approach to bioethics adds a core value to a field that is often more concerned with considerations of individual autonomy. Some interpretations of liberalism put the needs of the patient over those of the community; authoritarian communitarianism privileges the needs of society over those of the patient. Responsive communitarianism’s main starting point is that we face two conflicting core values, autonomy and the common good, and that neither should be a priori privileged, and that we have principles and procedures that can be used to work out this conflict but not to eliminate it. This discussion uses the debate in the US over funding for entitlements as a case study to apply the values of communitarian bioethics.


Autonomy Community Common good Medicare 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA

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