Pilot study by Maria Becker (Heidelberg), Svetha Ananth (Heidelberg) and Carina Kiemes (Darmstadt)
Morality plays an important role in everyday life and influences almost all areas of our society, e.g., politics, culture, religion, or education. When people are debating about controversial topics such as climate change, refugees or changes in law, they often refer to moral concepts such as freedom, equality, or charity (but also negative values such as guiltiness or prejudices) to emphasize their opinion and to demand something. Referring to moral concepts serves the purpose of validating the demand as intersubjectively accepted (cf. “jargon of presumption”, Felder 2018). The demand therefore requires no further explanation or justification, as in the following sentence, in which the word “security” is used to support a demand for a cap for refugees: “We should introduce an upper limit for refugees to ensure the security of German citizens.”
By moralizing practices, we mean strategies in which moral values are utilized for describing issues and the required actions. Vocabulary that refers to moral values (such as “freedom”, “security” or “credibility”) is used to enforce a demand that in this way appears inescapable.
In this article, we focus on the moral dimension of health. One could assume that in the domain of medicine and health, topics are rarely discussed with a moral perspective, as health is a sensitive topic and moral judgements are less expected. However, experience from the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that this assumption may be wrong, since in many public and private discourses moral values such as security, responsibility, or loyalty have shown to play a dominant role. Weiterlesen