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Thomas V. Cunningham
Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles
  1. Objectivity, Scientificity, and the Dualist Epistemology of Medicine.Thomas V. Cunningham - 2015 - In P. Huneman (ed.), Classification, Disease, and Evidence. Springer Science + Business. pp. 01-17.
    This paper considers the view that medicine is both “science” and “art.” It is argued that on this view certain clinical knowledge – of patients’ histories, values, and preferences, and how to integrate them in decision-making – cannot be scientific knowledge. However, by drawing on recent work in philosophy of science it is argued that progress in gaining such knowledge has been achieved by the accumulation of what should be understood as “scientific” knowledge. I claim there are varying degrees of (...)
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  2. Introducing the Medical Ethics Bowl.Allison Merrick, Rochelle Green, Thomas V. Cunningham, Leah R. Eisenberg & D. Micah Hester - 2016 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 25 (1):141-149.
    Although ethics is an essential component of undergraduate medical education, research suggests current medical ethics curricula face considerable challenges in improving students’ ethical reasoning. This paper discusses these challenges and introduces a promising new mode of graduate and professional ethics instruction for overcoming them. We begin by describing common ethics curricula, focusing in particular on established problems with current approaches. Next, we describe a novel method of ethics education and assessment for medical students that we have devised, the Medical Ethics (...)
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  3. A Life Below the Threshold? Examining Conflict Between Ethical Principles and Parental Values In Neonatal Treatment Decision Making.Thomas V. Cunningham - 2016 - Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 6 (1).
    Three common ethical principles for establishing the limits of parental authority in pediatric treatment decision making are the harm principle, the principle of best interest, and the threshold view. This paper consider how these principles apply to a case of a premature neonate with multiple significant comorbidities whose mother wanted all possible treatments, and whose health care providers wondered whether it would be ethically permissible to allow him to die comfortably despite her wishes. Whether and how these principles help to (...)
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  4. Rawlsian Reflective Equilibrium.Thomas V. Cunningham - manuscript
    This paper proposes a Rawlsian conception of moral justification as a social activity. Through a close reading, Rawls’ view of ethical justification is shown to be significantly more dialogical and deliberative than is commonly appreciated. The result is a view that emphasizes the social nature of ethical justification and identifies information sharing between persons as the crux of justification in metaethics, in contrast to normative ethics. I call it Rawlsian reflective equilibrium to distinguish it from other varieties.
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  5. What Justifies the Ban on Federal Funding for Nonreproductive Cloning?Thomas V. Cunningham - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy 16:825-841.
    This paper explores how current United States policies for funding nonreproductive cloning are justified and argues against that justification. I show that a common conceptual framework underlies the national prohibition on the use of public funds for cloning research, which I call the simple argument. This argument rests on two premises: that research harming human embryos is unethical and that embryos produced via fertilization are identical to those produced via cloning. In response to the simple argument, I challenge the latter (...)
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  6. Closure But No Cigar.Leah Eisenberg, Thomas V. Cunningham & D. Micah Hester - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (1):44-46.
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  7. Nonreductive Moral Classification and the Limits of Philosophy.Thomas V. Cunningham - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (2):22-24.
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  8. Skepticism About the “Convertibility” of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.Thomas V. Cunningham - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (1):40-42.
    No abstract available. First paragraph: In this issue’s target article, Stier and Schoene-Siefert purport to ‘depotentialize’ the argument from potentiality based on their claim that any human cell may be “converted” into a morally significant entity, and consequently, the argument from potentiality finally succumbs to a reductio ad absurdum. I aim to convey two reasons for skepticism about the innocuousness of the notion of cell convertibility, and hence, the cogency of their argument.
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