Intersections of Western Biomedical Ethics and World Culture: Problematic and Possibility
Pellegrino, Edmund D.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1992 Summer; 1(3): 191-196.
...What emerges from the intersection of systems of medical ethics across cultural lines is a recognition of the need for and the possibility of some form of metacultural ethic that can ameliorate cultural relativism. In medical ethics, all ethical positions are not of equal moral status -- regardless of how tightly bound they may be to a particular culture; for example, consider the nearly universal approbation for cooperative efforts of physicians who oppose the use of nuclear weapons and the condemnation of physicians who torture or experiment with prisoners of war. Even if violations of patient rights are tolerated in certain social and cultural settings, they are not tolerable in any common ethic of medicine. Growing recognition of the moral rights of patients, their special vulnerability as sick persons, and their dependency on the physician's knowledge constitute the empirical foundation of a morally defensible ethic of medicine. Those cultural systems that violate such norms cannot be given equal moral standing with systems that respect these norms, not because the cultural systems that support human and patients' rights are per se superior but because the protection of human rights is grounded in something more fundamental than culture -- the deference owed to all human beings qua human beings. This is a norm by which every culture may be judged....
Autonomy; Bioethics; Cultural Pluralism; Culture; Ethical Analysis; Ethical Relativism; Ethics; Human Rights; International Aspects; Knowledge; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Moral Status; Morality; Non-Western World; Patients; Patients' Rights; Physicians; Politics; Prisoners; Rights; Science; Social Dominance; Torture; Values; War; Western World;
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Pellegrino, Edmund D. (1992-06)
Pellegrino, Edmund D. (1992)
Pellegrino, Edmund D. (1994-12)In the preceding article, Mehlman and Massey examine possible legal responses to the issues that confront physicians faced with treating patients who have insufficient financial resources. This commentary explores the ...