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J Med Philos. 1991 Aug;16(4):393-408.

Consensus, contracts, and committees.

Author information

1
Division of Humanities in Medicine, SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn 11203.

Abstract

Following a brief account of the puzzle that ethics committees present for the Western Philosophical tradition, I will examine the possibility that social contract theory can contribute to a philosophical account of these committees. Passing through classical as well as contemporary theories, particularly Rawls' recent constructivist approach, I will argue that social contract theory places severe constraints on the authority that may legitimately be granted to ethics committees. This, I conclude, speaks more about the suitability of the theory to this level of analysis than about the ethics committee phenomenon itself.

PMID:
1895024
DOI:
10.1093/jmp/16.4.393
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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