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Title: Enhancing quality of life : consequentialism, medicine and sustainable development
Author: Young, Simon
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 3078
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2005
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In this thesis a biocentric, consequentialist, cosmopolitan ethical theory is advanced as the best way of enhancing quality of life for those entities that possess moral standing and are morally considerable. It is maintained that quality of life revolves around the development and exercise of essential capacities. A notion of interests is used here which goes beyond consciousness and sentience to refer to the development and exercise of species-related essential capacities. Essential capacities are those facets of a species that enable it to flourish, that is, to lead a life worth living for that particular species. Any entity capable of flourishing is argued to have intrinsic value and will therefore be morally considerable. Clearly not all entities can have the same degree of moral standing the moral significance, or 'weight', of an entity depends on its capacity to bear intrinsic value more sophisticated essential capacities will denote greater capability for mtrinsic value. Various criticisms of consequentialism are considered and challenged. A normative theory of practice-consequentialism is advocated to address specific medical issues, including therapeutic and reproductive cloning. Related bioethical issues are also briefly examined, such as embryo research, 'designer' babies and xenotransplantation. Finally, the concept of sustainable development is discussed. It is maintained that a radical concept of sustainable development is the best way to tackle environmental degradation and global poverty, and is the best way of ensuring well-being for all bearers of moral standing, including future ones.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available