The Context as a Moral Rule in Medical Ethics
Thomasma, David C.
Journal of Bioethics. 1984 Spring/Summer; 5(1): 63-79.
A major difficulty in developing a workable medical ethic is that a purely deductive ethic cannot be applied to individual patients and is useless to practicing physicians, while an inductive approach to treatment dilemmas lacks guidance from ethical principles. Thomasma delineates and critiques attempts by several thinkers to bridge the distance between abstract principles and individual cases, identifying these attempts as acceptance of absolutist principles, casuistry, and development of intermediate norms. He then presents his own contextual grid for medical ethics as a means by which to locate a moral problem and the values and principles at issue within that locus. After laying down the assumptions upon which it is based, he diagrams a possible grid, provides some examples of its contents, and describes the grid's usefulness as a bridge between the abstract and the concrete. (KIE abstract)
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Thomasma, David C. (1992)Ethics consults at a university medical center share many qualities with those in other settings. What makes them different, if at all, is a difference of degree, not kind. All consult services share the tasks of exploring ...