- Goodness! The empirical turn in health care ethics
- Medische Antropologie
- Volume | Issue number
- 22 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
This paper is intended to encourage scholars to submit papers for a symposium and the next special issue of Medische Antropologie which will be on empirical studies of normative questions. We describe the ‘empirical turn’ in medical ethics. Medical ethics and bioethics in general have witnessed a move from applied ethics (the application of rules and principles to complex situations) to a renewed interest in practical, everyday ethical issues and the ways health care providers deal with them in practice. We highlight four forms of empirical research in ethics: studies about the effects of some form of institutionalized ethics in health care; studies about ethical views and practices in society; studies about ethical issues concerning medical innovations, and finally, studies about the normativity of care practices. We end the paper with an assessment of the function of empirical ethics research: to provide the building blocks for societal debate about health care.
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