Bioethics policies and the compass of common morality

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (1):31-43 (2009)
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Even if there is a common morality, many would argue that it provides little guidance in resolving moral disputes, because universally accepted norms are both general in content and few in number. However, if we supplement common morality with commonly accepted factual beliefs and culture-specific norms and utilize coherentist reasoning, we can limit the range of acceptable answers to disputed issues. Moreover, in the arena of public policy, where one must take into account both legal and moral norms, the constraints on acceptable answers will narrow the extent of reasonable disagreement even further. A consideration of the debate over legalization of assisted dying supports this claim.



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Ronald Lindsay
Georgetown University

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References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Common Values.Sissela Bok - 2002 - University of Missouri.
A Defense of the Common Morality.Tom L. Beauchamp - 2003 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 13 (3):259-274.

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