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Essay example - Utilitarian Ethics

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Pages 3 (753 words)
Utilitarian ethics does not care what means are used to produce such benefits. It aims at finding a right kind of action in a given…

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Though utilitarianism is a popular ethical theory, it has several pitfalls too. Utilitarian theorists assign values to the benefits and harms derived from one set of actions and then compare the values that may arise through another set of action. But, often, it is not possible to measure or compare the values of benefits that may accrue from our actions. There are so many intangibles that are involved while attempting to measure the values of our so called moralistic actions. It is not possible to measure and compare the value of money with that of time, human dignity or for that matter human life (Andre and Velasquez 2010).
Utilitarian ethicist believe that moral decisions need to be taken based on benefit or burden to the society; however, such decisions may be unjust to many. Genetics is an emerging medical science and the issues pertaining to the mandatory testing with regard to the certain genetic disorders may raise several ethical questions. The proponents of utilitarian ethics would favor genetic screening in identifying disorders, which has its roots in the genetics. Many attempts have been made in the past to make genetic screening a mandatory requirement and that is likely to trigger new issues that would have much deeper implications.
Fulda and Lykens (2006) raise the pertinent ethical issues while discussing the case of a 55 year old female dialysis patient. She was identified with a genetic disorder called autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). On screening, her four sons were also identified as carriers of this genetic disorder. The consequences that followed thereafter are worthy of elaboration. Her eldest son developed symptoms of ADPKD at the age of 32 and he committed suicide. Her second son divorced his wife when he was at age 30 so as not to burden her and to keep off from having a ...
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