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August 21, 2002

Ethics: Matters of Life and Death: Making Moral Theory Work in Medical Ethics and the Law

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;288(7):895-896. doi:10.1001/jama.288.7.895-JBK0821-3-1

Bioethics, indeed applied ethics in general, is faced with the challenge of reconciling theory with practice. Because the practice of medicine involves both patients and health care professionals in ethical dilemmas that are often morally complex, reliance on a theoretical perspective appears unavoidable. Without a theoretical perspective to guide us, we find ourselves lost in detail. Theory helps us to pick out the relevant points from the plethora of information available. To this extent, moral theory seems indispensable to ethical deliberation.

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