chapter  4
24 Pages

Medicine and morality

So far, two potential answers to the question “When did it become possible to have an accident?” have been suggested. The first answer was the late seventeenth century, when the emergence of modern rational explana­ tory systems in the West enabled some misfortunes to be classified as “acci­ dental”, in that they were ideally neither motivated nor predicted. Indeed within a cosmology that has been characterized as “rationalist”, the acci­ dent becomes not only possible, but also perhaps necessary. The accident produced by this discourse is an unintended and morally neutral misfor­ tune, one that sits outside available explanatory laws and describes a cat­ egory of leftover misfortunes, which are inexplicable.