Application of Ethical Theories: Quick view Issue Utilitarianism ...

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12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 9 μήνες)

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Application of Ethical Theories: Quick view

Issue

Utilitarianism



Teleological



Relative

Kant



Deontological



Absolute

Natural Law



Deontological



Absolute

Situation Ethics



Teleological



Relative

Christianity



Depends on whether N. Law or
Sit. Ethics orientated

Abortion



Neutral; usually pro
-
choice but
must acknowledge possibility
that denying a woman choice
might sometimes bring about the
greatest good.



Any viable reason for having an
abortion can be justified by the
Hedonic Calculus



Mill: “
Over himself, over
his own
body and mind, the individual is
sovereign.”



‘Everyone should have abortions’
= not universal


there
would be
no people to have abortions so is
self
-
contradictory.




‘Abortion after rape is
acceptable.’ Not self
-
contradictory but could will self
o
ut of existence.



Foetus has potentiality = end
rather than a means.



Exceptions


ectopic pregnancies
(no rational agent to be born);
Severe learning difficulties that
prevent the understanding, and
acting on, of maxims



Life begins at conception



Primary pre
cept: Protect and
preserve the innocent
-
>
Secondary precept: Do not abort.



No exception as killing an
innocent person is never an
option.



Double
-
effect: secondary effect
must be proportionate, e.g.
ectopic pregnancies


unethical
to abort an ectopic
pregnancy
but ethical to remove part/all of
affected organs, even if the
woman can no longer have
future children.



SE grew from an anti
-
abortion
tradition.



Fletcher: We shouldn’t get rid of
rules


they’re useful guides but
act in best interests of those
affected.



Love


only intrinsically good
thing and may override principals
in certain circumstances.



CofE: the lesser of two evils? E.g.
for a victim of rape.



Abortion only acceptable in
extreme circumstances.



Abortion not specifically
mentioned in the Bi
ble



Key qu: when does life begin?




You knit me together in my
mother’s womb
.”



Time of Bible


life starts at birth
but foetus still sacred so no
abortion.



RC: always wrong


life must be
protected from moment of
conception.



CofE: Every human life is sacre
d,
abortion is evil but sometimes
the lesser of two evils in an
imperfect world.

Right to a child



Very ambiguous.



Balance pleasure of having a
baby against pain of unsuccessful
treatments.



Bentham


more imp. To avoid
pain than bring pleasure so
concern o
ver high failure rate of
IVF. Could be outweighed by joy
of parenthood.



No problems with spare
embryos.



Focus: the good will does the
right thing regardless of outcome


not interested in pain of
childlessness.



Destroying embryos contrary to
the will of
someone who could
have been destroyed as an
embryo


so wrong.



Egg/sperm donation = being
means to an end so wrong.




Primary precept: reproduction.



Aquinas: telos of humans =to
reproduce



go forth and
multiply.




Secondary precept: Do not kill
-

against de
struction of unwanted
embryos.



Involvement of sperm/egg donor


mechanical adultery. Goes
against primary precept of living
in an ordered society.



Ambiguous


focus on best
interests of couples involved.



Fertility treatment, inc.

egg/sperm donation can be seen
as an act of love to help a fellow
person.



High failure rate


does joy of
few outweigh pain of others?




Several examples of infertility in
OT, e.g. Abraham and Sarah


surrogate mother used.



Sanctity of life/marriage
passag
es used to argue against
destruction of spare embryos
and a third partner


wrong?



BUT…God gave us power to
create so does that include
technologies that overcome
fertility?

Euthanasia



Hedonic Calculus: weigh up
pleasure and pain involved.



Bentham: cons
ider intensity;
duration; extent (no. people
involved); richness (potential
pleasures); purity (loss of
dignity); and certainty (no chance
of future cure).



In cases of extreme pain
Bentham’s theory usually
supports Euthanasia (strong
belief in dignity and
autonomy).



Mill: Higher and lower pleasures


if mind still working then
happy, fulfilling life possible
despite physical state. If physical
state fine but mind not working
(e.g. Alzheimer’s) life less worth
continuing.




Disagreed with compassion as
basis

of moral choices


many
kind intentions lead to bad
outcomes.



No interest in level of suffering or
compassion for that person.



Universalising maxim of helping
someone to die could lead to an
ambiguous view on whom and
when someone should die
(slippery
-
slo
pe argument).



Killing someone to end their pain


is this using them as a means to
(their own) end? Or are a
person’s ends best served by
ending their pain?



Kant = strongly against suicide
and likely against any form of
assisted suicide/euthanasia.



Strong
focus on sanctity of life
teachings e.g. “
Do not murder
”;

If you destroy God’s temple (
the
body
) God will destroy you
,” etc.



Primary precept: Protect and
preserve the innocent
-
>
secondary precept


>never kill
an innocent person.



No amount of suffering
can
justify an evil act.



Double effect: if death is a by
-
product of pain relief then focus
is whether death is a
proportionate outcome.



So active euthanasia is wrong but
double effect is acceptable (to
most).



Person; = people before rules



Pragmatic


do
what is best in
the circumstances.



If it the most loving thing to do to
ease someone’s suffering then
the rules of killing can be
dispensed with.



Relativist: deal with each
individual situation in the most
loving way


for some, even if
that means breaking

the law.



Likely to argue for legalisation of
Euthanasia but with strict
safeguards.



Bible doesn’t directly cover
modern issues of Euthanasia, e.g.
turning off life support.



Job 1:21 “
God gives and God
takes away
.”



RC: completely anti
-
euthanasia


it is mu
rder: “
We are stewards,
not owners of the life God has
given us.
” Catholic Catechism.



Double
-
effect applicable (see NL)



CofE: disagrees with euthanasia
but it is not right to keep
someone alive indefinitely
regardless of quality of life.



Both advocate pall
iative care


dedicated physical, psychological
and spiritual care for they person
dying and their loved ones.

Right to life



Focus needs to be on the
consequences of the killing


if
the consequences are good the
action is good.



Difficult to apply Hedonic

Calculus
.



Preference: right or wrong to
value one over another because
they have more preferences,
pleasure, etc.?



In pre
-
natal (before birth cases)
near impossible to measure
potential pleasure or pain.

[
See Euthanasia for universalization

/
means to an

end.
]



We should all treat people as we
would like to be treated


therefore don’t kill as most
rational people don’t want to be
killed.



A foetus/baby is not rational, not
part of the “kingdom of ends”
but does have potentiality to
become so which must be
accounted for.


if it can grow
into a rational being it is wrong
to kill them.



As with abortion and euthanasia
killing is always wrong


everyone has a right to life.



Ambiguous depending on
situation.



Rules on the sanctity of life can
be ignored in favour

of doing the
most loving and practical thing,
e.g. allowing a sick person to die
(but not kill them!) if their organs
can then be used to help others
live.



The right to life is rooted in the
creation story when God makes
mankind, above all other
creatures
, in His image.



The Bible is all about God’s
interaction with mankind,
especially that He loved
humanity so much He gave his
only s
on to save them from
death (in favour of eternal life in
heaven).



Jesus’ teaching show that all
human life is sacred from all

backgrounds and at all stages of
life.



All stages includes from the point
of conception.

Genetic engineering



Focuses on effects but it is
impossible to know the future
outcome genetic modification of
organisms. This means extent
and certainty cannot be
accurately applied to the
Hedonic Calculus.



Bentham: considers all sentient
creatures so might question
using animals for
pharmaceuticals or growing
human organs.



Singer: Interests of animals and
humans


a single pig for a single
human might be acceptable

(human has greater interests)
but a large no. of animals = more
concerning.



Is it possible to universalise the
use of genetic modification and
embryo research? If yes then
you could have been
experimented on instead of
implanted so not exist


an
imperfe
ct duty.



Happy with xenotransplantation
(growing human organs inside
animals) as no humans are
harmed.



Animals are not capable of
reason and so have no intrinsic
value


we can use them as we
see fit.



Seems contrary to NL as
tampering with God’s design/
pl
an but so does all medicine.



Focus: purpose of procedure or
therapy.



Against: enhancement genetic
engineering
; using animals for
pharmaceuticals or growing
organs (against their God given
purpose).



For: gene therapies that correct
disorders; to preserve/pr
otect
human life so some treatment
acceptable.



GM foods: good if it deals with
issues like hunger but it has
unknown effects with some
concerned about damage to
humans.



Accept use of animals to grow
organs or pharmaceuticals if it
benefits humans.



Somatic
gene therapy (in one
person’s body) is a loving
alternative to suffering.



Germ
-
line therapy (affects future
generations) more questionable
as unknown future effects.



Germ
-
line can be acceptable if
the practical loving thing to do
(rules are guides not
absolute).



Enhancement gene
-
therapies
depend on the situation but may
be considered less important
that therapies that help the sick.

[Use Natural Law and Situation Ethics]

Embryo research



If spare embryos (from IVF) are
tested on then they are being
used

to benefit others rather
than be destroyed which is a
better option.



This does not necessarily apply
with creating embryos for
research


depends on whether
the embryo has interests
(Bentham). This can depend for
different utilitarians on the stage
of d
evelopment (e.g. conception/
implantation/ primitive streak).



Need to evaluate different
possibilities: better for embryo to
be implanted or tested on?



The destruction of embryos is
not an universifiable maxim,
regardless of positive
consequences.



If a gen
etic code is distinct at the
embryo stage then a potential
person is experimented on and
prevented from being born.



Key question: could the embryo
have developed into a rational
being? If so the research on it is
wrong.



An embryo should be treated as
a hu
man being from the moment
of conception (‘protect and
preserve the innocent’).



Anyhting done to an embryo to
stop it developing would be
wrong.



Telos: of an embryo is to become
a person so it would be wrong to
experiment on it.



Personalism:
people are
important (Fletcher).



Embryonic stem cell testing could
help millions of people which
morally justifies it.



No clear concept of the value of
an embryo to situation ethicists
so a situation ethicist who
believes an embryo is a person
would act differently t
o one who
did not.



Key qu: what would you do if the
embryo were a person?

[Use Natural Law and Situation Ethics]