PHIL 2390 Module 1 Essay

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PHIL 2390 – Module 1
Morality
The system of rules which, when followed, cause individuals to act in predictable, cooperative ways that minimize conflict between them
Can differ between cultures
Connection between law and morality?
There are things which are immoral but not illegal and vice versa
Fish argues that all laws rely on moral justifications, that is all laws are aimed at creating social cooperation, protecting the vulnerable, guiding action and resolving conflicts, the very things morality is aimed at
Ethics
The systematic study of morality, the study of the concepts and theoretical justifications involved in practical reasoning meant to be applied to govern individual behaviour
Not normally understood as culturally dependent
Divisions of ethics:
Metaethics
The identification, explanation and critical evaluation of morality as a concept, abstracted from specific content or specific statements of behaviour
Asks questions the answers to which form the very foundation of ethical injury
E.g. what is good? What is formal?
Normative ethics
Statements often in the form of principals or rules that tell people what to do or how to behave to live a moral life
Focus on the construction evaluation and justification of theories of morality
Applied ethics
The study of the theoretical and practical moral issues involved in specific context such as medicine, business or engineering
Deals with morality in practice and focuses on specific areas of inquiry such as business ethics, computer ethics or biomedical ethics
4 Principals of Biomedical Ethics
Respect for autonomy
Ability to make free choices
Children is often thought to have parents to take over autonomy to protect them called paternalism
Key discussions:
Competence, euthanasia and abortion
Non-maleficence
Fundamental right not to be harmed
To do no harm
Key discussions:
Informed consent, euthanasia, human experimentation
Beneficence
Flip side to non-maleficence
Not just avoid harm but also promote good
Balancing this principal of doing good against the need to respect autonomy and minimize harm is often the challenge
Key discussions: right to health care, allocation of resources and euthanasia
Justice
Most challenging principal
Different moral theories will differ regarding what is just
It’s a principal; of fairness and consistency
Key discussions:
Right to health care, allocation of resources, sex selection and abortion
Terms
Conflict of interest
A situation in which an individual’s personal interests appear to influence the exercise of his/her official responsibilities
Biomedical ethics
The study of the theoretical foundation of rights and obligations in health care relationships between various types of health care professionals and the patient or research participant
The practical moral issues arising within these relationships
Advance directives
Written statements made while the patient is competent for use at a time when she is no longer competent, stating what medical treatment would or wouldn’t be acceptable to her
Passive euthanasia
The withdrawing or withholding of life sustaining treatment to allow the patient to die from the underlying illness or injury
Active euthanasia
Direct actions that result in the patient’s death, such as giving the patient a lethal injection
Physician-assisted suicide
Voluntary suicide by a patient committed with assistance of her physician who typically provides the means to end the patient’s life
Eugenics
Controlled breeding practices used to improve the genetic quality of offspring
Allocation
Distribution of goods and services among alternative possibilities for their use
Macro allocation
Social decisions made about the expenditure for and distribution of resources intended for health care
E.g. how much money will the federal government put toward health care
Micro allocation
Decisions made by particular institutions or HCPS concerning who will obtain available resources
E.g. which patient will receive the available organ