Critical Overview of Principlist Theories
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.