Medical professionalism and the social contract

Reid, L.
Submitted: January, 2011

Examines social contract as a methaphor and its blind spots– the assumed subjective position of contractors engenders blind spots about privilege, not critical reflection; its tendency to dress up the status quo in the trappings of a theoretical agreement may limit social negotiation; its attempted reconciliation of social obligation and self-interest fosters the view that ethics and self-interest should coincide; it sets up false expectations by identifying appearance and reality in morality; and its construal of prima facie duties as conditional misdirects ethical attention in particular situations from current needs to supposed past agreements or reciprocities.

Resource Type:
  • Issue Briefs/Reports