Clinical Ethics and Happiness
Devettere, Raymond J.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1993 Feb; 18(1): 71-89.
Most contemporary accounts of clinical ethics do not explain why clinicians should be ethical. Those few that do attempt an explanation usually claim that clinicians should be ethical because ethical behavior provides an important good for the patient -- better care. Both these approaches ignore the customary traditional reason for being ethical, namely, the good of the moral agent. This good was commonly called 'happiness'. The following article shows how the personal happiness of the moral agent provided a major reason for being ethical in the ancient philosophical and biblical traditions and how it continues to play a role in the more modern rights-based, Kantian and utilitarian theories. This history suggests that the personal happiness of the clinician, rightly understood, is a legitimate and important goal of clinical ethics.
Bioethics; Christian Ethics; Clinical Ethics; Deontological Ethics; Ethical Analysis; Ethical Theory; Ethics; Goals; Health; Health Personnel; Love; Medical Ethics; Moral Obligations; Morality; Motivation; Patient Care; Philosophy; Physician's Role; Physicians; Rights; Theology; Utilitarianism; Values; Virtues;