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Flourishing is not a conception of dignity

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  • 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 Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Macklin R. Dignity is a useless concept. BMJ 2003; 327 (7429): 1419–20.

  • At times, Soofi interprets Macklin to be stating that ‘dignity’ is ambiguous whereas other moral concepts are unambiguous. This is very unhelpful. No philosopher, including Macklin, would claim that any moral concept is unambiguous, as is evidenced by the extensive debates about the meaning of ‘autonomy’ or ‘respect’. Her substantive claim is that the word ‘dignity’ is almost always used as a less precise term for ‘autonomy’ or ‘respect’.

  • Barclay L. Dignitarian medical ethics. J Med Ethics 2018; 44: 62–67. Etinson A. What’s so special about human dignity? Philosophy & Public Affairs 2020; 48(4): 353–381. Killmister S Dignity and shame in Contours of Dignity. Oxford University Press. 2020. Luban D. Human dignity, humiliation and torture. Kennedy Inst. Ethics J 2009; 19(3): 211–213.

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