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The morality of research in medical ethics from the viewpoint of consensus building

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  • 医療倫理に関する研究行為の倫理性について : 合意形成論の観点から

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The basic tenet of the present paper is that research in medical ethics has been predominantly committed not so much to contributing to the resolution of conflicts concerning actual medical issues but to the pursuit of objective or universal ethical principles. In fact, this tendency might have caused a gap between the general principles that should be applicable to actual issues and the complexity of the situations that confront decision makers with various moral dilemmas. This essay attempts to overturn such an emphasis on the study of general principles, their interpretation and the introduction of results, by focusing instead on the problem-solving of concrete and complex issues. This new direction is supported by the methodology of consensus building. The present paper concludes that researchers in medical ethics should satisfy the following three conditions: (1) the consideration of the generality of action principles; (2) the consideration of the particularities of the action situation; (3) an awareness of the researcher's position as an interested party.


  • Bioethics

    Bioethics 19 (1), 21-28, 2009

    Japan Association for Bioethics

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