Title

Secular Clinical Ethicists Should Not Be Neutral Toward All Religious Beliefs: An Argument for a Moral-Metaphysical Proceduralism.

Authors

Abram Brummett

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2021

Publication Title

The American journal of bioethics : AJOB

Abstract

Secular clinical ethics has responded to the problem of moral pluralism with a procedural approach. However, defining this term stirs debate: H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr. has championed a contentless proceduralism (P1), while others, conversely, argue for a proceduralism that permits some content in the form of moral claims (P2). This paper argues that the content P2 permits ought to be expanded to include some metaphysical commitments, in an approach referred to as P2+. The need for P2+ is demonstrated by analyzing and rejecting three standards (the best interest or harm principle, internal reasonability, and the child's right to an open future) used by P2 to justify overriding religiously motivated refusals of treatment for children. These approaches fail because each maintains a neutral stance regarding the truth of religious belief. This paper drives at the broader thesis that the proceduralism of secular clinical ethics requires some moral and metaphysical commitments.

Volume

21

Issue

6

First Page

5

Last Page

16

DOI

10.1080/15265161.2020.1863512

ISSN

1536-0075

PubMed ID

33372859

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