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Where the ethical action also is: a response to Hardman and Hutchinson
  1. Nathan Emmerich1,2
  1. 1 School of Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  2. 2 Institute of Ethics, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nathan Emmerich, School of Medicine, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia; nathan.emmerich{at}


In Where the ethical action is, Hardman and Hutchinson make some interesting and compelling points about the way in which ‘the ethical’—various values and various kinds of values—are embedded in everyday life, including the everyday life one finds in clinical interactions, understood as scientific or scientifically informed activities. However, even when one considers ‘the ethical’ from within the horizon of understanding adopted in their essay, they neglect several important features of healthcare and medical education. In this rejoinder, I argue that a fuller understanding would go some way to indicating the complexity of ethics and ‘ethical action’ in the clinic, as well as the nature of and need for ‘expert’ analysis and philosophical reflection on the ethical questions that modern healthcare continues to engender.

  • ethics
  • education
  • cultural diversity

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  • Contributors NE is the sole author of this work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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