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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: May 2012

11 - The Discourses of Confucian Medical Ethics

from PART IV - THE DISCOURSES OF RELIGION ON MEDICAL ETHICS
Summary
Most scholars seem to believe that the Daoist contribution to original Chinese medicine is more prominent than Confucianism; however, it is not controversial that the Confucian teachings of ren have shaped the basic tone of Chinese medical ethics. Ren constitutes the basic virtue of human individuals and sets down the fundamental Confucian principle of human society. Confucianism can be understood as a personal health care system, even if it cannot be reduced to a personal health care system. Confucians have seen medicine as the art of ren; however, they have seen politics as the governing of ren. The Confucian physicians took medicine as an enterprise of ren, namely, the art of ren. Medicine is their way of making the Confucian life, rather than simply treating diseases as technicians. The good life for Confucians is the life of cultivating the virtues for taking care of the family and the whole world.
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The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics
  • Online ISBN: 9781139195812
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521888790
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