Critical Overview of Principlist Theories

  • Pierre Mallia
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ethics book series (BRIEFSETHIC, volume 2)


In this chapter three approaches to principles are reviewed. Firstly the Four-Principle approach as described by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress. Secondly Robert Veatch’s theory of medical ethics based on a contract relation and lexical ordering of principles giving priority to autonomy. Finally Engelhardt’s Principle of permission, amending his first edition which was based on a two-principle approach of beneficence and autonomy. Clearly the authors of these three models are ‘principlists’ themselves and the scope here is to go beyond simple principles.


Prima Facie Moral Philosophy Moral Ideal Clinical Ethic Moral Rule 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Medical SchoolUniversity of MaltaMsidaMalta

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