Global Ethics: The Personal Philosophy of an American Expatriate

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As health care reform comes to the United States, and wars, tsunamis, and earthquakes ripple across the world, the connection of our global community has never been more obvious. Growing globalization and increased air and space travel have removed international borders and brought humanity closer. Additionally, globalization has expanded the push for global health and provided numerous opportunities for the global community to impact the lives and health of people across the globe. According to Koplan, Bond, Merson, Reddy, Rodriquez, Sewakambo & Wasserheit (2009) global health can be described as a notion, objective or a practice that strives to maintain the health of the global community. As the issue of global health becomes more popular, the concept of global ethics has taken front stage, fueling the international dialogue on biomedical ethics in general and the principles of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue-based ethics in particular.

Global ethics aims to establish a set of moral and ethical belief systems at the global level. In considering the principles of utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue-based ethics, one wonders how these concepts are connected to clinical ethics and what role they might play in shaping the views of this expatriate writer. The University of Birmingham (2010) posits that global ethics deals with the moral questions that arise from globalization.

Global ethics tries to take an honest look at pressing global issues such as disparities of wealth, health, longevity, security, and freedom and suggests that individually each human being might have a moral obligation to help each other. Global ethics further questions the issues of fairness and the human obligation to treat others as one would...

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