Could the Ethics of Institutionalized Health Care Be Anything but Kantian? Collecting Building Blocks for a Unifying Metaethics
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 2005; 8(1): 39-52
Is a Health Care Ethics possible? Against skeptical and relativist doubts Kantian deontology may advance a challenging alternative affirming the possibility of such an ethics on the condition that deontology be adopted as a total programme or complete vision. Kantian deontology is enlisted to move us from an ethics of two-person informal care to one of institutions. It justifies this affirmative answer by occupying a commanding meta- ethical stand. Such a total programme comprises, on the one hand, a dual-aspect strategy incorporating the macro- (institutional) and micro- (person-to-person) levels while, on the other, it integrates consistently within moral epistemology a meta-ethics with lower- ground moral theories. The article describes the issues to be dealt with and the problems which have to be solved on the way to a unifying theory of that kind (Sections I-III) and indicates elements of Kantian moral philosophy which may serve as building blocks (Section IV). Among these are not only Kant's ideas concerning the moral acting of persons and his ideas concerning civil society and state but also his ideas concerning morality, schematism and religion.