Medical ethics, principles, persons, and perspectives is discussed under three headings: History, Theory, and Practice. Under Theory, the author will say something about some different approaches to the study and discussion of ethical issues in medicine—especially those based on principles, persons, or perspectives. Under Practice, the author will discuss how one perspectives based approach, hermeneutics, might help in relation first to everyday ethical issues and then to public controversies. In that context some possible advantages of moving from controversy to conversation will be explored; and that will then be illustrated with reference to a current controversy about the use of human embryos in stem cell therapy research. The paper begins with history, and it begins in the author’s home city of Edinburgh.
- virtue ethics
- stem cell research
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