A Defense of Fundamental Principles and Human Rights: A Reply to Robert Baker

Ruth Macklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article seeks to rebut Robert Baker's contention that attempts to ground international bioethics in fundamental principles cannot withstand the challenges posed by multiculturalism and postmodernism. First, several corrections are provided of Baker's account of the conclusions reached by the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. Second, a rebuttal is offered to Baker's claim that an unbridgeable moral gap exists between Western individualism and non-Western communalism. In conclusion, this article argues that Baker's "nonnegotiable primary goods" cannot do the work of "classical human rights" and that the latter framework is preferable from both a practical and a theoretical standpoint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-422
Number of pages20
JournalKennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
Volume8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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