Year: 2000 Source: Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, v.21, no.3, (2000), p.261-276 SIEC No: 20020867

We are currently is the midst of a revival of interest in the virtues. A number of contemporary moral philosophers have defended a virtue-based approach to ethics. But does this renewal of interest in the virtues have much to contribute to medical ethics & medical practice? This paper critically discusses this question. It considers & rejects a number of important arguments that purport to establish the significance of the virtues for medical practice. Against these arguments, the paper seeks to show that while the virtues have a genuine role to play in medical ethics, it is a limited role, one that is subordinate to the role that other moral concepts, such as rules & principles play. (20 refs)