Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (1):62-67 (2017)

Authors
Linda Barclay
Monash University
Abstract
Philosophers and bioethicists are typically sceptical about invocations of dignity in ethical debates. Many believe that dignity is essentially devoid of meaning: either a mere rhetorical gesture used in the absence of good argument or a faddish term for existing values like autonomy and respect. On the other hand, the patient experience of dignity is a substantial area of research in healthcare fields like nursing and palliative care. In this paper, it is argued that philosophers have much to learn from the concrete patient experiences described in healthcare literature. Dignity is conferred on people when they are treated as having equal status, something the sick and frail are often denied in healthcare settings. The importance of equal status as a unique value has been forcefully argued and widely recognised in political philosophy in the last 15 years. This paper brings medical ethics up to date with philosophical discussion about the value of equal status by developing an equal status conception of dignity.
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2017-104467
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References found in this work BETA

What is the Point of Equality.Elizabeth Anderson - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):287-337.
What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
I—Culture and Critique.Sally Haslanger - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):149-173.
[Book Review] the Decent Society. [REVIEW]Michael Schefczyk - 1998 - Social Theory and Practice 24 (3):449-469.

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Citations of this work BETA

Dignity and Equality in Healthcare.Pengbo Liu - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (9):651-652.

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