Grundzüge einer kritischen Medizinethik

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Definition of the problem: Medical ethics is increasingly faced with issues that result from power asymmetries and epistemic injustice. However, medical ethics lacks the epistemic lenses for analyzing these social context factors of clinical practice. A theoretical and conceptual reconfiguration is necessary in order to be able to address these issues. Arguments: This paper discusses the foundations of critical medical ethics, which takes perspectives and epistemic categories from critical theories. This includes the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School as well as those approaches from social sciences and cultural studies that reflect on power asymmetries. By drawing on these theories, the epistemic spectrum of medical ethics could be broadened in order to better include real power relations into normative analyses. The paper starts by outlining the contribution of social sciences to empirical medical ethics. This shows that an empirical approach as such cannot bridge the epistemic gap. In a further step, epistemic lenses and concepts from critical theories are discussed, such as Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, feminist approaches, postcolonial approaches, queer theory, gender studies, and science and technology studies (STS). The conclusion sums up the foundations of critical medical ethics and discusses its limitations. Conclusion: Critical medical ethics possesses the epistemic categories and broader social perspective needed to address issues in medicine that result from power asymmetries and epistemic injustice in society.

Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)117-132
Number of pages16
JournalEthik in der Medizin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2024

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