The SAGE Handbook of Healthcare Ethics is an influential collection of work by leading scholars on the fundamental and emerging themes which define healthcare ethics. This authoritative Handbook brings together experts with backgrounds in philosophy, sociology, law, public policy and the health professions and reflects the increasing impact of globalization and the dynamic advances in the fields of bioscience and genetics, which keep ethics at the centre of debates about the future direction of healthcare. Combining international and interdisciplinary perspectives, the Handbook provides a cutting-edge account of debates in five key areas: Health Care Ethics in an Era of Globalization; Beginning and End of Life; Vulnerable Populations; Research Ethics and Technologies; Public Health and Human Rights

Deliberation and Consensus

Deliberation and consensus

Introduction

Decision making is not an optional activity for human beings. We need it in order to remain alive. The role of freedom begins only with the election between different possibilities offered by the diversity of situations. We must choose between them, and therefore we bear responsibility for the choice. But we are compelled by nature to choose. This is the origin of moral life. When we opt between different alternatives, we are first compelled to justify to ourselves the decision made. Conscience is the first tribunal, and we are our primary judges.

The Moral Point of View

Human acts are always and necessarily moral. They can be either moral or immoral, but not amoral, if they are really human, that is, performed ...

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