This paper discusses some common misconceptions of what a utilitarian approach to medical ethics is and of the conclusions it forces upon those disposed to accept such an approach. It suggests that broad and unargued characterisations of approaches to moral questions as 'utilitarian', 'Hippocratic' or whatever are likely to be misleading and counterproductive. What matters is not what to call the position that people feel inclined to accept but rather what arguments there are in its favour and what arguments there are against it.
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