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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 169–182 | Cite as

Grounding medical ethics in philosophy of medicine: problematic and potential

  • Patrick DalyEmail author
Article
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Abstract

After considering two of Pellegrino’s papers that address the relation between philosophy of medicine and medical ethics, I identify several overarching problems in his account that revolve around his self-described essentialism and the lack of a systematic attempt to relate clinical medicine to biomedicine and public health. I address these from the critical realist position of Bernard Lonergan, who grounds both metaphysics and ethics on the normative structure of human inquiry and seeks to understand historical development, such as we are witnessing in health science and health care, in terms of the dynamic structure of the human good. I conclude that Lonergan’s generalized empirical method and hierarchical account of world order provide a potentially dynamic framework on which to build a more comprehensive philosophy of medicine than one whose foundations rest primarily on a phenomenology of the clinical encounter and the telos of medicine.

Keywords

Edmund Pellegrino Bernard Lonergan Philosophy of medicine Medical ethics 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lonergan Institute at Boston CollegeBostonUSA

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