Bioethics Blogs

Discourse on medicine: meditative and calculative approaches to ethics from an international perspective

Heidegger’s two modes of thinking, calculative and meditative, were used as the thematic basis for this qualitative study of physicians from seven countries (Canada, China, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, & Thailand). Focus groups were conducted in each country with 69 physicians who cared for the elderly. Results suggest that physicians perceived ethical issues primarily through the lens of calculative thinking (76%) with emphasis on economic concerns. Meditative responses represented 24% of the statements and were mostly generated by Canadian physicians whose patients typically were not faced with economic barriers to treatment due to Canada’s universal health care system.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.