Social Ethics and Social Change
To be human is to participate in community. The state is the institution in which the ultimate social authority and power are located to maintain order and to give direction to the life of a society. Social ethics is to convey the ethical and theological implication that society is subject to higher moral criticism. This course seeks to provide a social ethics frame of reference for health care. Every political theory is formed within a broader system of philosophy and beliefs. Politics or the civil community orders its life together on the basis of the public good. Medical and biological advances have contributed to a rapidly expanding human control over human and natural processes and over genetic potential and behaviors. This new power raises moral questions and the need for discussion and legislation of the complex issues raised by the developments in health care, medical technology, and science. A comprehensive social ethics places decisions about health care within the context of a fuller account of purpose and meaning in life.