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The Premise of Professionalism in Contractualism

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2023, 26(4), pp.289-293
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : October 27, 2023
  • Accepted : November 24, 2023
  • Published : December 31, 2023

JUNHEWK KIM ORD ID 1

1연세대학교 치과대학 치의학교육학교실

Accredited

ABSTRACT

While agreeing with the target article’s argument that South Korea’s essential healthcare crisis should be addressedthrough a reinvigoration of medical professionalism, this commentary suggests that professionalism should be seenthrough the lens of Scanlon’s contractualism. Distinguishing between social contract theory (contractarianism) andcontractualism, this commentary argues that while the former arises from mutual benefits, the latter emphasizesmoral equality and the duty to justify oneself to others. From the perspective of contractualism, medical professionalsare not simply benefit-seekers in a social contract, but rather morally driven individuals who seek principles “thatno one could reasonably reject.” Through specific examples, such as the legislation concerning CCTV camerasin surgical rooms, this commentary demonstrates the potential of a contractualist approach to break the impassein traditional debates about medical professionalism by shifting the focus from individual benefits to collectivelyacceptable principles. Ultimately, it is argued that a contractualist perspective on medical professionalism offers anovel way to empower medical professionals and engage society, one that emphasizes shared responsibility and thereason-giving force intrinsic to this approach.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.