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On the philosophical foundations of medical ethics: Aristotle, Kant, JS Mill and Rawls

Cohen-Almagor, R.




© 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS This article aims to trace back some of the theoretical foundations of medical ethics that stem from the philosophies of Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill and John Rawls. The four philosophers had in mind rational and autonomous human beings who are able to decide their destiny, who pave for themselves the path for their own happiness. It is argued that their philosophies have influenced the field of medical ethics as they crafted some very important principles of the field. I discuss the concept of autonomy according to Kant and JS Mill, Kant's concepts of dignity, benevolence and beneficence, Mill's Harm Principle (nonmaleficence), the concept of justice according to Aristotle, Mill and Rawls, and Aristotle's concept of responsibility.


Cohen-Almagor, R. (2017). On the philosophical foundations of medical ethics: Aristotle, Kant, JS Mill and Rawls. Ethics, Medicine and Public Health, 3(4), 436-444.

Journal Article Type Short Survey
Acceptance Date Sep 19, 2017
Online Publication Date Nov 22, 2017
Publication Date 2017-11
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2018
Journal Ethics, Medicine and Public Health
Print ISSN 2352-5525
Electronic ISSN 2352-5525
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 436-444
Keywords Aristotle; Autonomy; Beneficence; Benevolence; Dignity; Immanuel Kant; John Rawls; John Stuart Mill; Justice; Nonmaleficence; Responsibility
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