The Virtue of Piety in Medical Practice

Philosophia 49 (3):923-931 (2021)
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Following the Introduction, the second section of this essay lays out Tom Cavanaugh’s helpful and convincing account of the enduring significance of the Hippocratic Oath in terms of how it responds to the problem of iatrogenic harm. The third section discusses something underemphasized in Cavanaugh’s account, namely, the key role of the virtue of piety within the Oath and the profession it establishes, and argues that this virtue should be regarded as integral to an authentic Hippocratic ethic. The fourth and final section briefly examines the connection between medicine and philosophy, focusing on how both should be seen as wisdom-seeking ways of life, and shows the relevance of this for regarding the virtue of piety as the key virtue of medical practice.

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David McPherson
University of Florida

References found in this work

Philosophy as a way of life: spiritual exercises from Socrates to Foucault.Pierre Hadot - 1997 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Arnold I. Davidson.
The virtues in medical practice.Edmund D. Pellegrino - 1993 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by David C. Thomasma.
What is ancient philosophy?Pierre Hadot - 2002 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective.David McPherson - 2020 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

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