Alzheimer's Disease and the Conflict between Ethics, Morality and Politics
Department of Philosophy, University of Oviedo, Spain
- Corresponding Author:
- David AlvargonzÃ¡lez
Department of Philosophy, University of Oviedo
C. Teniente Alfonso MartÃnez
SN, 33071, Oviedo Spain
Tel: 34 985104356, 34 649010040
Fax: 34 985104385
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Received date: January 08, 2013; Accepted date: March 10, 2013; Published date: March 20, 2013
Citation: Alvargonzález D (2013) Alzheimer’s Disease and the Conflict between Ethics, Morality and Politics. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism S10:004. doi:10.4172/2161-0460.S10-004
Copyright: © 2013 Alvargonzález D. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Numerous ethical problems are known to follow in the wake of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This paper posits that some of these problems may best be discussed by considering both the distinction between ethics, moralities and politics and the conflicts arising from these three spheres of reality. Following Spanish philosopher Gustavo Bueno, an initial distinction is established in which 1) ethical norms and virtues seek to ensure the life of the human individual and the human person; 2) moral norms and virtues seek the smooth running of a given group; and 3) political norms and virtues seek the viability of a political state. The paper then moves on to characterize a specific subset of ethical problems involved in AD; here the distinction between human individual and human person proves to be particularly relevant. It focuses later on the conflict between the ethical universal virtues and moral norms of certain groups, such as families, doctors and certain other cultural groups, by studying their influence on the persons suffering from AD. Finally, the state’s role is taken into consideration, since the conflict between ethics and politics arises whenever health care officials try to cut costs at the expense of the heroic sacrifice made by some people. For its part, the conflict between morality and politics emerges when the interests of different groups collide, and whenever policies must be implemented to allocate scarce resources. The paper ends by suggesting that the proposed distinction may help understand some of the pressures acting on both people suffering from AD and on people making decisions about them.