Tracing the roots of European bioethics back to the Ancient Greek philosophersphysicians
Keywords:bioethics, ancient Greek medicine, philosophers-physicians, Hippocrates
Contrary to the usual claim that Bioethics is a contemporary discipline, I argue that its origins
can be traced back to the Ancient Greek philosophers-healers. In classical antiquity
philosophy was almost inseparable from medicine not only in the sense that philosophers
like Empedocles, Plato and Aristotle contributed to its development, but also in that later
philosophers conceived of moral principles and rules in order to prevent the physicians’ malpractice
and the patients’ harassment. From this point of view, the philosophers-physicians
Hippocrates, Galen and Celsus have laid the foundations of the science known under the
name of "Bioethics".
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