Casuistry Cultural Relativism (Biomedical Ethics)  Charles Lohman
Casuistry <ul><li>CASUISTRY takes information or meaning of a particular case and applies it to another particular case.  ...
Two Criticisms of Casuistry <ul><li>1.) If not all people can agree then how can JUSTIFICATION for an action be given.  </...
Cultural Relativism <ul><li>CULTURAL RELATIVISM states there are no norms of behavior common to all cultures.  </li></ul><...
Criticism of Cultural Relativism <ul><li>Just because people from different cultures disagree about the motivation for or ...
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PHI 204 - Ethical Issues in Health Care: Casuistry, Cultural Relativism

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PHI 204 - Ethical Issues in Health Care: Casuistry, Cultural Relativism

  1. 1. Casuistry Cultural Relativism (Biomedical Ethics) Charles Lohman
  2. 2. Casuistry <ul><li>CASUISTRY takes information or meaning of a particular case and applies it to another particular case. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So basically CASUISTRY relies on precedents and existing paradigms that are believed to give insight and shared agreement about new cases. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>With CAUISTRY, you begin an ethical analysis by identifying particular features of the specific case instead of using an abstract principle and applying it to the case. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, to respect a competent adolescent’s refusal of life-saving treatment, with casuistry, we look to similar cases in the past for basic guidance to understand the particular case at hand in order to judge it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now, the key word is ‘guidance’ because ethical intuitions differ with different people. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, some may pay attention to certain features of the specific case, while others may ignore these same features or at the least judge them to be less important than other features. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Two Criticisms of Casuistry <ul><li>1.) If not all people can agree then how can JUSTIFICATION for an action be given. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In other words, if principles are not objective, impartial standards outside of our intuitions, and if different people have different intuitive judgments about a case then how can anything about CASUISTRY itself judge. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2.) CASUISTRY is not forward looking enough to give guidance about ethical issues in scientific innovation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, the method and aims of cloning human embryos are significantly different from those of existing forms of assisted reproduction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So, in this example, CASUISTRY does not offer much help in exploring the ethical implications of cloning nor with other new medical technologies. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Cultural Relativism <ul><li>CULTURAL RELATIVISM states there are no norms of behavior common to all cultures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is right or wrong is determined by and within a particular culture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In other words, there are no universal truths in ethics, only cultural codes that vary from one culture to another. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Criticism of Cultural Relativism <ul><li>Just because people from different cultures disagree about the motivation for or meaning of some type of behavior does not mean there are no objective moral facts that justifies the behavior. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, Eskimos practice infanticide, which is a way of surviving in a situation of scarce resources. Their justification is that it’s not because infants have no rights or moral status, but because there is only enough food to support a certain number of people. So priority is given to the adults because of their ability to gather and prepare food. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similar practices occur in other cultures, which are also justified in some way. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition, most cultures have some moral rules in common because they are necessary for societies and cultures to exist and remain stable. </li></ul></ul>

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