Science and conscience: between ethics and error
published in January - February 2023 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.1
Giacomo Delvecchio

Science and morality are separate because they are different. Science describes reality and produces knowledge; morality is about values and enforces behavior. Medical science produces knowledge that, with respect to the phenomena of the world, can be either true or false; ethics, and with it bioethics, induces behavior that is neither true nor false but is either good or bad. Thus, if judgments of good/evil are applied to moral behavior, judgments of true/false are reserved for knowledge, and it is to false knowledge that the concept of error is appropriate. If science is morally neutral, other is what is done with science and technology, but here we are referring to medicine as a human science, where behaviors come into play, that is, the choices and decisions of professionals that are embodied in their actions. And before the decisions and actions, the intentions that move the health professional come into play. It is among the nuances, which connect the intentions, ends, and means but also the consequences of caregivers’ actions, which, by heterogeneity of ends, can also go against their good intentions, that moral medicine is played out.