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Culture, Subjectivity, and the Ethics of Patient-Centered Pain Care



Even the most scientifically reductionist view of the individual reveals that we are complex systems nested within complex systems. These interactions within and among systems are based and depend on numerous variables of our (internal and external) environment(s). If we define ethics as a system of moral decision making, then it becomes clear that these decisions ultimately affect the situation(s) of managing our activities and relationships with others in our environment (in essence, our being in the world). Given that ecology literally means “a study or system of wisdom and reasoning about the interrelation of organisms in their environment or place of inhabitance,” Owen Flanagan's description of ethics as “human ecology” takes on considerable relevance and importance.



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