Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice

Tying care and respect into a single bioethical principle: On Dall'Agnol's respectful care theory

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Abstract Objective In this article, we offer an extended critical review of a new conception of bioethics, presented by Darlei Dall'Agnol, in the book Care and Respect in Bioethics. Methods Critical philosophical analysis of background assumptions of a new approach to bioethics, enriched with critical discussion of related philosophical literature. Results In Care and Respect in Bioethics, through an approach filled with hard cases, Dall'Agnol argues that the metaethics of respectful care has theoretical advantages over the intuitionist metaethics of principlism and the particularism of casuistry, offering an original comprehensive approach that crosses the three dimensions of ethical inquiry: metaethical, normative, and applied ethics. Conclusions Dall'Agnol offers an insightful and persuasive account of how the single attitude of respectful care can express practical moral knowledge in healthcare. In this paper, we evaluate, criticize, and suggest refinements. One of them concerns Dall'Agnol's interpretation about Stephen Darwall's views on care and respect as two attitudes supported, respectively, by a third‐ and a second‐personal moral point‐of‐view. Other is about the Dall'Agnol's Wittgensteinian description of the moral language‐games of Clinical Bioethics, adding to the approach the “language‐game of rights.”

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