About this book
This book deals with the essential philosophical/ethical dimension that concerns the ends and goods entrusted to medicine. It shows that medicine cannot be reduced to its scientific and technical aspects and that the constitutive philosophical aspects of medicine presently are in a state of crisis.
Medicine, besides being a scientifically based art of diagnosing and curing infirmities of many kinds, also possesses an essential philosophical and ethical dimension. It turns into anti-medicine if it no longer stands in the service of those goods and ends that are entrusted to it. Their nature is in no way known by natural science but can be clarified by philosophy. Consequently, medicine suffers from philosophical diseases of different degrees of gravity if its theory and practice are based on errors about its proper ends. The cure from the life-threatening philosophical diseases of medicine lies in a critique of philosophical mistakes that influence the theory and practice of medicine and in an understanding and practical implementation of those ethically relevant goods that constitute its true ends. At a time when these goods are by no means universally recognized or embodied in laws of medicine, some basic philosophical understanding of them and of the foundations of medical ethics is urgently required. The purpose of this volume is to provide this largely neglected part of general and medical education.