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Professional Medical Ethicist: A Weed or Desired Member in Medical Ethics Debates?
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics.
2006 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

We now live in an era of experts on virtually everything, among which we have professional medical ethicists, who gained prominence in the late 60s due to dramatic advances in medical technology. Before then, medical ethics issues were not thought as separable from the warp and woof of the everyday life. Medical technology’s advancement cascades legions of moral problems in medicine and biomedical research. Series of innovative interventions in medicine raise throngs of ethical questions. In most cases that have to do with issues of life and death, there are perceived moral conflicts. Due to this swath of problematic issues that need solutions, some apologists favour medical ethics experts as fit for the job, while critics argue that no one has the knowledge or skill for dealing with moral quandaries because objective truth is not feasible in ethics and moral judgment is relative to cultures, beliefs and values. The necessity for medical ethicists to take active role in Medical Ethics Debates, either in Committees at the institutional level, or at any other decision-making mechanisms is justified in this thesis. In addition to this, the thesis also justifies medical ethicists’ role as expert consultants to clinicians and individuals alike This justification is based on complex moral problems accentuated by medical technology, which are far from being easily solved through mere appeal to individual reason, but rather by involving medical ethicists based on their specialized knowledge and high level understanding of research and practice. Although critics question the authority with which experts speak on these issues, nevertheless, the thesis unravels the roles, functions, significance and components of expert’s expertise that separate him/her from the crowd. Arguments are critically analysed and medical ethicists’ limits and professional flaws are addressed, with a view to establishing a virile foundation for the profession of medical ethics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Centrum för tillämpad etik , 2006. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
Medical Ethics Debates, Medical Ethicist, Consultants/Experts, Medical Ethics Profession, Moral Problems, Medical Ethics Committees
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-6635ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--06/11--SEOAI: diva2:21914
2006-06-01, KG46, Key-House, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:15
Available from: 2006-06-09 Created: 2006-06-09

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