As members of various and often conflicting communities, how do we reconcile what we have come to understand as our human rights with our responsibilities toward one another? With the bright thread of individualism woven through the American psyche, where can our sense of duty toward others be found? What has happened to our love - even our concern - for our neighbor? In this revised edition of his magisterial exploration of these critical questions, renowned ethicist Arthur Dyck revisits and profoundly hones his call for the moral bonds of community. In all areas of contemporary life, be it in business, politics, health care, religion - and even in family relationships - the "right" of individuals to consider themselves first has taken precedence over our responsibilities toward others. Dyck contends that we must recast the language of rights to take into account our once natural obligations to all the communities of which we are a part.
Rethinking Rights and Responsibilities, at the nexus of ethics, political theory, public policy, and law, traces how the peculiarly American formulations of the rights of the individual have assaulted our connections with, and responsibilities for, those around us. Dyck critically examines contemporary society and the relationship between responsibilities and rights, particularly as they are expressed in medicine and health care, to maintain that while indeed rights and responsibilities form the moral bonds of community, we must begin with the rudimentary task of taking better care of one another.
Arthur J. Dyck is Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Population Ethics in the School of Public Health, and a member of the Faculty of Divinity at Harvard University.
Introduction Part I: Conception of Rights ReexaminedHistorical and Contemporary Views that Undermine Communal Bonds 1. RightsA Historic Break with the Past2. From Natural Rights to Calculated Rights 3. Natural RightsAutonomy vs. Interdependence Part II: Rights ReconceptualizedGrounding Rights in Responsibilities, Community, and Moral Knowledge 4. Moral Bonds as Requisites of Community 5. Rights ReconceptualizedJustice, Nurture, and Divorce in Western Law6. Requisites of Morality, Freedom,adn Community7. Moral Knowledge Experiential Bases of Responsibilites and Rights 8. Moral Knowledge Loving Impartiality9. Moral Knowledge Ideal Companionship Part III: Reconceptualized RightsHomicide Law and Health Care 10. The Moral Bases of Homicide LawThe Case against Assisted Suicide 11. Justice and NurtureRescue and Health Care as Rights and Responsibilities EpilogueBibliographyIndex