Everyday Ethics: What Clinicians and Patients Say about Relationships and Why They Work


Since its inception, the field of bioethics has favored a principle-oriented approach, circling around a familiar triumvirate of autonomy, beneficence and justice. Yet in the routine encounters between clinicians and patients these principles, understood as action guides, play only a minor role. Relational capacities and the quality of clinical interactions are far more important aspects of medical and healthcare ethics. This talk presents results from 105 clinician and patient interviews focused on the morally important features of therapeutic relationships. Dr. Churchill argues that what is needed for sound bioethics and professional ethics is less application of principles and more appreciation of the rhythms of vulnerability and responsiveness.
Larry Churchill, PhD
Ann Geddes Stahlman Professor of Medical Ethics at Vanderbilt University
Recorded September 25, 2012


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