Response to 'On Complicity and Compromise by Chiara Lepora and Robert Goodin

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Journal of Medical Ethics
Vol. 43, Iss. 4, p. 266

Chiara Lepora and Robert Goodin invite us to join their insightful ‘conversation’ on complicity and compromise. Their book makes a dense, utterly precise and rewarding reading, as one proceeds stepwise through the logic of their philosophical arguments. For those unfamiliar with the relatively new discipline of ‘humanitarian ethics’, it might be disconcerting at first to see humanitarian actions brought to illustrate theories on complicity, with the Rwandan refugees crisis of 1994 and the tortured patient taken as two exemplary cases. Actually, this connects with an increasing body of research and reflexions, showing that humanitarian workers face frequent ethical challenges, some of them amounting to a distressful sense of complicity.