Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Special Section: Kant, Habermas, and Bioethics

Don’t Lie! . . . Why Not?

How to Argue for Truthfulness in Medical Practice


You have lied! You are a liar! This is one of the most serious moral offences one can be blamed for. Augustine even regards lying as the fundamental moral offence and identifies it with sin and evil in general. For Augustine and Kant, lying is in itself morally reprehensible and not justifiable at all.

Theda Rehbock, Ph.D., is a member of the Institute of Philosophy, Technical University of Dresden, Germany, and is currently Acting Professor of Practical Philosophy at the Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany.