The Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine is the official scientific publication of the Medical Ethics and History of Medicine of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Physicians and health practitioners always deal with ethical issues in the treatment and management of diseases. The advent of new biomedical technologies further complicated the moral and societal issues of medical research and practice. Religious and cultural differences more emphasize the need for nationalizing this knowledge. The Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine (J Med Ethics Hist Med) is an opportunity for healthcare professionals as well as theologians, philosophers, and sociologists to present and discuss their ideas from several aspects in relation to medical ethics and bioethics. In addition, this Journal traces its roots to several aspects of the History of Medicine which further emphasizes on Iranian and Islamic eras.

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Vol 16 (2023)

Original Article(s)

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    The concept of common morality is fundamental in medical ethics, and lack of universal content and characteristics of common morality is a product of its multifaceted nature. This study aimed to identify the ideas and experiences of academic faculties regarding common morality in a pluralistic setting to promote conceptual knowledge and strengthen moral reasoning and ethical decision-making.The study was conducted using a qualitative method, employing semi-structured in-depth interviews with thirteen faculty members who were selected purposively. In order to assess their ideas and experiences, the transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using the content analysis method through directed and conventional approaches. The interviews were coded manually.Two themes were reflected in the interviews: ontology and epistemology of common morality.The study indicates that the debate about the subjective or objective dependence of common morality questions the coherence of Beauchamp and Childress' common morality (CM) theory, as common morality is the result of various individual and social factorthat influence moral thinking and decision-making in pluralistic environments. Additional studies are needed in order to investigate the effect of cultural, social, theoretical, ideological and individual factors on promoting clinical ethical reasoning and decision-making skills.

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    The concept of individual freedom has complex and multifaceted dimensions that significantly affect the limits of permissible government interventions aimed at restricting such freedoms and maintaining public health. Therefore, the boundary between individual freedom and the social obligations of the government must be carefully clarified.  During the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for such clarifications clearly increased. This study intended to investigate the concept of freedom according to major theories and to observe their application in analyzing the relations between individuals and the government in the health system, particularly during public health emergencies.The findings revealed that “justice-based”, “development-based” and “accountability-based” conceptions of freedom provide a more appropriate rationale for implementation of public health restrictive measures by health authorities during infectious disease outbreaks including pandemics such as COVID-19. Even in minimal governments that are built upon a free-market system and unrestricted conception of individuals’ freedom, such public health interventions are justifiable in the light of the ‘Catastrophic Moral Horror’ where there is an extreme risk to the health of citizens.

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