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Applied ethics and social problemsMoral questions of birth, society and death$
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Tony Fitzpatrick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861348609

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861348609.001.0001

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(p.139) Eight Relating
Applied ethics and social problems

Tony Fitzpatrick

Policy Press

This chapter brings family relationships and obligations into the picture. It maintains that principles of autonomy and social justice apply to the family also, that a pluralistic approach to family policies — one incorporating a ‘critical autonomy’ — is appropriate, and that familial obligations do not start or end with the family itself. The chapter reviews two theories of the family, one that constructs a hierarchy of family types stressing biological ties and another that attempts to work with the grain of pluralism but where the capabilities and wellbeing of children are significant values. In addition to these, this chapter also explores filial obligations and the distribution of responsibilities for the health and care needs of older people.

Keywords:   family relationships, social justice, critical autonomy, filial obligations, older people

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