Medical Paternalism

  • Michael Quante
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 126)


The previous two chapters were primarily concerned with justifying the demands of persons for autonomy as being ethically respectable in the interplay of personal autonomy and biographical identity. Now the question is whether arguments for a justification of paternalistic medical actions can be developed on the basis of the conception of biographical identity unfolded here. Thus the ethical line of attack of the previous two chapters will be reversed; at the same time, the general strategy of the previous chapters will be retained and the theme of medical paternalism limited to the question of the suitability of personal identity as a justifying principle in biomedical ethics. For this reason, in the following not all the aspects of paternalism can be taken up: only the area of medical action will be taken into consideration. Nor shall all justification strategies which have been developed in the almost unwieldy literature be discussed and subjected to critical examination in the course of this chapter. But rather, it will be shown that personality is a relevant aspect in the justification of paternalistic medical action.


Medical Action Advance Directive Human Person Personal Autonomy Personal Integrity 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Quante
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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