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PHI 204 - Ethical Issues in Health Care: Communitarianism, Liberalism
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PHI 204 - Ethical Issues in Health Care: Communitarianism, Liberalism



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  • 1. Communitarianism Liberalism (Biomedical Ethics) Charles Lohman
  • 2. Communitarianism
    • COMMUNITARIANISM focuses on the responsibility of the individual to the community and the social importance of the community as whole.
      • In other words, people are individual members of communities with shared values, ideals, and goals.
        • So individual ideas of the good cannot be separated from the community as a whole.
          • So what is good for the individual is a reflection of the common good of the community as a whole.
        • So questions about right or wrong of actions/policies should always be raised for the betterment of the community as a whole.
  • 3. Liberalism
    • LIBERALISM focuses on the rights, interests, and reasoning of individual moral agents.
      • In other words, LIBERALISM claims that people should have the right to act and live in accord with their own conception of a good life as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others to do the same.
  • 4. Liberalism and Communitarianism Differs in Two Ways
    • LIBERALISM differs from COMMUNITARIANISM as a NORMATIVE THEORY in two main ways.
      • 1.) LIBERALISM claims there should not be one conception of the good or one overarching moral value that all individuals live by and share.
      • 2.) LIBERALISM claims that the rights and interests of individuals should not be sacrificed for the interests of the larger society.
        • Why? Because different individuals have different values and different conceptions of what constitutes a good life.
          • So LIBERALISM states it would be wrong to try to adopt a particular conception of the good for everyone.
            • So society should remain neutral on these normative issues based on individuals alone.