A Life Worth Living: Value and Responsibility
Goodnight (Audra L.)
Source: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 44: 133–149, 2019
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Value and responsibility are two central concepts in philosophy and bioethics. The articles that comprise this issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy engage topics of moral injury, madness, transhumanism, cognitive enhancement, and the woman’s responsibility to assist her fetus.
  2. Clearly diverse in matter, these subject articles univocally present fruitful ground for engagement with contemporary questions that impact society today. The ability to cure or to enhance, to treat or to terminate through advances in medical technology are all actions that come with personal and social responsibility for their consequences.
  3. By approaching each article through the dual lens of value and responsibility, the reader is challenged to think seriously about the values we hold as human persons and the responsibility we take to pursue and protect these values.

Author’s Introduction (Final paragraph)
  1. In this essay, I draw attention to the themes of value and responsibility as I see them manifested in each of the five articles that comprise this issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
  2. In section II, I show how the topics of mental illness and moral injury require a reconception of the values of mental experience and call for a restoration of moral character through responsible intervention.
  3. In section III, I explore the tension that underpins discussions of values and pursuit of the good life. Transhumanist endeavors to create a posthuman existence privilege certain values over others. Thus, pursuit of these values requires responsible consideration of the needs and values of all lives, and not just of the ideal ones.
  4. Finally, in section IV, the abortion debate is shown both to benefit from a discussion of responsible agency and the value of having a moral community to assist the woman in her time of need. It is in these ways that I discuss how value and responsibility weave their way through the articles, illuminating the cohesiveness of the multifarious subjects covered in this issue.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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