Quality of Life - Evaluation or Description

Birnbacher, Dietrer
March 1999
Ethical Theory & Moral Practice;Mar1999, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p25
Academic Journal
'Quality of life' is part of many different discourses and has been used in a variety of meanings ranging from purely descriptive (as in some medical contexts) to distinctly evaluative meanings (as in some social science and political contexts). The paper argues that there are good normative reasons to make the concept as descriptive as possible at least in its medical applications and, furthermore, to reconstruct it in a thoroughgoing subjectivist way, making the reflexive self-evaluation of the subject him- or herself the ultimate standard. Attention is drawn to the fact that only few of the measures of quality of life applied in present-day medicine correspond to these requirements.


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