Human Lives pp 128-143 | Cite as

Medicine, Virtues and Consequences

  • John Cottingham


In an interview for a serious medical journal, a famous doctor is asked what his main career goals are. ‘To double my salary before I retire,’ he replies; ‘and to spend more time at the exclusive golf club to which I’ve just been elected.’ There is perhaps nothing terribly wrong with either of these aims, but we can well imagine the interviewer being taken aback. What he wanted to know about was the doctor’s aims as a doctor. The answers he got related to something else — personal goals, or ‘off-duty goals’ we might say, or even goals of the subject qua salary earner; but not his goals qua doctor.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Nicomachean Ethic Physician Assist Suicide Virtue Theory Good Doctor 
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    R. M. Dworkin, Taking Rights Seriously (London: Duckworth, 1977), ch. 9, pp. 223–39. For more on this, see J. Cottingham, ‘Race and Individual Merit’, Philosophy 55 (1980) 525–31.Google Scholar
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© David S. Oderberg and Jacqueline A. Laing 1997

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  • John Cottingham

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