A basic question of medical ethics is whether the norms governing medical practice should be understood as the application of principles and rules of 'the common morality' to medicine or whether some of these norms are 'internal' or 'proper' to medicine. In this article we describe and defend an evolutionary perspective on 'the internal morality of medicine' that is defined in terms of the goals of clinical medicine and a set of duties that constrain medical practice in pursuit of these goals. This perspective is developed by means of a critical examination of the 'essentialist' conception of the internal morality of medicine advocated by Edmund Pellegrino and the critique of internal morality approaches by Robert Veatch and Tom Beauchamp.
- Internal morality
- Medical ethics
- Professional integrity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects