Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series

Uncommon Morality: Medical Ethics and Medical Education


The UCSD Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series meets quarterly for faculty, staff, and students to discuss selected ethics topics.To subscribe/unsubscribe to the Biomedical Ethics Seminar Series mailing list, please send an email to


November 18, 2020


Uncommon Morality: Medical Ethics and Medical Education

Common morality has been the touchstone for addressing issues of medical ethics since the publication of Beauchamp and Childress’s Principles of Biomedical Ethics in 1979.  I challenge that reigning view by demonstrating why the standard common morality accounts of medical ethics are unsuitable for the profession and inadequate for responding to the distinctive issues that arise in medical practice.  This position explains why medical education must explain the duties of medical professions, foster skills in identifying required medical behavior, and nurture the requisite doctorly character.


Rosamond Rhodes, Ph.D., is Professor of Medical Education and Director of Bioethics Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Professor of Philosophy at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Professor of Bioethics and Associate Director of the Clarkson-Mount Sinai Bioethics Program.

Dr. Rhodes writes on a broad array of issues in bioethics and has published 240 articles and chapters. She is co-editor of The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal and Social Concerns (Oxford University Press, 2013), The Blackwell Guide to Medical Ethics (Blackwell, 2007), Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care (Oxford University Press, first edition 2002; second edition 2012), Physician Assisted Suicide: Expanding the Debate (Routledge, 1998). Her new book is The Trusted Doctor: Medical Ethics and Professionalism (Oxford University Press, April 2020).


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  The Trusted Doctor: Medical Ethics and Professionalism: