Against Relativism

Against Relativism : Cultural Diversity and the Search for Ethical Universals in Medicine

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This book provides an analysis of the debate surrounding the facts of cultural diversity, the charge of "ethical imperialism", and the thesis that ethics must be viewed as relative to particular cultures or societies. Macklin examines the role of cultural traditions when used as a defense against critical ethical judgements. She explores key issues in health and medicine seen through the lens of cultural diversity: the physician-patient relationship, disclosing a diagnosis of fatal illness, informed consent, brain death and organ transplantation, rituals surrounding birth and death, female genital mutilation, sex selection of offspring, fertility regulation, and biomedical research involving human subjects. Among the conclusions she reaches are that ethical universals exist, but they should not be confused with ethical absolutes; and that the existence of ethical universals is compatible with a variety of culturally relative interpretations. Some rights related to medicine and healthcare ought to be considered human rights. Illustrative examples are drawn from the author's experience serving on international ethical review committees and her travels to a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where she conducted educational workshops and carried out her own more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 148 x 208 x 30mm | 498.96g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195116321
  • 9780195116328
  • 1,726,968

Table of contents

1. Cultural and Ethical Relativism ; 2. Philosophers and Anthropologists Debate ; 3. Respect for Tradition ; 4. The Doctor-Patient Relationship in Different Cultures ; 5. Relativism and Multiculturalism ; 6. Death and Birth ; 7. International Feminism and Reproductive Rights ; 8. International Research and Ethical Imperialism ; 9. Human Rights in Health and Medicine ; 10. Moral Progress and Ethical Universalsshow more

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