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Posts Tagged ‘justice

Opposition: realist or moralist?

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Masha Gessen, in “Trump: The Choice We Face“, describes two responses to injustice. One compromises, does it’s best to move power toward justice while praying to minimize complicity in its violence — this would be the realist. The other refuses to compromise, insists that it will not participate at any level in sustaining the life of injustice — this would be the moralist. On level days, I’m a realist and I think most people are. There’s just no way to navigate the many competing moral demands of one’s communities. The realist owns hypocrisy and does their best with it. On darker days and in my more indignant moments, I’m a moralist. (I have a long line of moralists in my family tree — so, perhaps it’s genetic.) As a moralist, I’m insufferable. But as a moralist, I am motivated. The realist feels a bit passive at times. The moralist may be less practical, but (from my experience) is more likely to get things done — though in fits and spurts and in so far as the fire burns. As for now — let it burn, let it burn.


Written by Jere

November 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Reading

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Rebeginning again and reading

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I have read less of the history of medical libraries that I had planned. I have read less of everything than I had planned, but that is a fact of life. I am 3 pages deep (and months stalled) into Gertrude L. Annan’s “The Medical Library Association in Retrospect, 1937-1967” (Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1998 Apr;86(2):270-8.). I vaguely recall an impression that the beginnings of the profession were inauspicious, born of print-based indexes, and (later) necessitated by unfriendly databases. And the whole thing leads one to wonder, what would be the state of medical libraries were it not for the creation of the NLM? But I’ll return to that train later.

Now I am reading “ethics.” And the saddest sentences of the day (after noting that physicians making “justice-based” refusals may be said to be acting on conscience only if they meet three criteria: 1. they have a core set of moral beliefs; 2. justice is one of those beliefs; 3. providing care would conflict with the doctor’s concept of justice), Mark Wicclair writes:

Without questioning the sincerity of physicians with justice-based objections to providing medical treatment, it is unlikely that many will satisfy the second condition. If a person’s conception of justice is among her core moral beliefs, she is likely to experience guilt, remorse, loss of self-respect, and/or shame if her actions are incompatible with her conception of justice. Regrettably, however, injustice is something that many physicians and non-physicians alike have learned to tolerate and live with.

Wicclair, M. R. (2011). Conscientious objection in health care: An ethical analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.8.

Written by Jere

May 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

Posted in Conscience, Ethics, Libraries

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