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Religion, secular medicine and utilitarianism: a response to Biggar
  1. Kevin R Smith
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kevin R Smith, SET, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee DD1 1HG, UK; k.smith{at}


Nigel Biggar has argued that religion ought to be given a seat at the negotiating table of medical ethics. I respond in broadly utilitarian terms, arguing that the flawed empirical basis, lack of rationality and non-universality inherent in religion disqualify it from ethical discourse. I conclude that while it would be unacceptable to attempt to debar religious individuals from the negotiating table, an exclusively secular approach is required for ethical decision making in medicine.

  • Religious Ethics
  • Philosophical Ethics
  • Abortion
  • Infanticide
  • Moral and Religious Aspects

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