Bioethics and "Human Dignity"

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (2):180-196 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
The term "human dignity" is the source of considerable confusion in contemporary bioethics. It has been used by Kantians to refer to autonomy, by others to refer to the sanctity of life, and by still others to refer—albeit obliquely—to an important but infrequently discussed set of human goods. In the first part of this article, I seek to disambiguate the notion of human dignity. The second part is a defense of the philosophical utility of such a notion; I argue that there is nothing implausible about appealing to a deontological "principle of dignity" to solve bioethical problems, especially those concerning the development of new biotechnologies. There may, however, be problems associated with any attempt to use dignity as a basis for public policy. This sort of worry is explained and briefly addressed in the final section.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2013-06-24
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
765 ( #4,808 of 52,923 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #14,918 of 52,923 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.