Moral Purpose in Health Care?

The recent scandal about hospital care in the Stafford Hospital has not shown the NHS in a good light and, although not on such a systemic scale, there are recurring media reports about failures of care locally. Last week the Health Secretary (England and Wales) urged the NHS to find its moral purpose. But what is the moral purpose of a health service? It seems to me that it is inevitably related to the issue of what promotes good care. But what does good care look like? Continue reading

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

  sandel_book_coverOn 16 October 2012, Philip McDonagh facilitated a lively discussion on this book by Michael Sandel, who is political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. In What Money Can't Buy, Sandel examines one of the biggest ethical questions of our time and provokes a debate that's been missing in our market-driven age: What is the proper role of markets in a democratic society, and how can we protect the moral and civic goods that markets do not honour and money cannot buy? Philip McDonagh is an economist. He formerly worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers; he has over 30 years experience in dealing with local economic matters. He is a Charity Commissioner with the new Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. He is also a member of the Society of Friends.  

You don’t have to be an Einstein to believe in moral absolutes

I think I have just discovered an alternative theory of relativity! Unlike its famous predecessor, which has baffled those of us for whom Physics is a foreign country to which we will never travel, this theory is so simple to be self evident. It runs like this. All questions relating to morality  are both relative and contextual. All are conditioned by time and social context and subject to church law and personal conscience. There are, therefore, no absolutes. Continue reading