REASONING ON AN ECLECTIC APPROACH IN MEDICAL ETHICS: SYNTHESIS OF THE BASIC PRINCIPLES WITH ARISTOTLE’S VIRTUE ETHICS
Author: Gamze Nesipoglu, Researcher and PhD Candidate at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine Department of History of Medicine and Ethics, Phil, MSc of History of Medicine and Ethics
In this article, it will be reasoned on synthesis and possibility of principlism and medical virtue ethics since the existence of ethical issues faced at the clinics draws attention to the limitations, inadequacy, inapplicability and inconsistency of the four basic principles of (bio)medical ethics, thus it will be sought answers the questions why the principles aren’t sufficient, why the physicians encounter with ethical issues at the clinics, how they have internal and integral morality, professional integrity and moral insight. Although the questions bring to virtue ethics to mind in advance, virtue ethics comes short for medical normativity and metaphysical justification, and people need absolute rules/principles to find their moral way to be against immorality. The situation also seems in the medical world of the 21st century, therefore it will be suggested the combination of phronesis, epistêmê and technê to be compatible with the nature of medicine in all aspects, and to evaluate the patient as a biopsychosocial being, at first. Secondly, since virtue ethics doesn’t exclude the principles and Pellegrino emphasizes the “normative effect of virtue ethics” to be applicable in medicine, it will be suggested the synthesis of the principles and virtue ethics in medicine -like Saunders’ proposal that to reveal a combination of deontology and virtue ethics in general sense- as an eclectic approach. This article was also written to commemorate Aristotle in the 2400th anniversary from his birth with respect.
Keywords: Aristotle, medical ethics, Pellegrino, phronesis, principlism, principles of biomedical ethics, virtue ethics