Medical Philosophy: The Four Principles Approach - Essay Example

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Medical Philosophy: The Four Principles Approach

The four principles approach is easy to apply in practice. All health care professionals must do is (a) to decide which of these four principles influence and are involved in the medical decision; (b) how these principles are involved; and (c) if more than one principle is involved, how these principles interact and whether they are in conflict (Kattan 2009). In the bioethical field, the four principles approach is located somewhere between specific moral judgment and moral theories (Kattan 2009). Simply stated, most, if not all, existing moral theories support at least one of these principles (Cohen 1999; Kattan 2009). They are also applied to make specific moral judgments in daily ethical conflicts and situations (Kattan 2009). As such, the four principles approach demonstrates remarkable practical utility, and can be used at both theoretical and practical levels of ethical decision-making. It goes without saying that the more popular the four principles approach becomes the more critical professionals are becoming about it. For example, Macklin (2003) argues that beneficence as an ethical principle has no philosophic value, since no one can predict the exact consequences of each particular act. Gillon (1994) believes that there is no definite methodology to resolve the conflicts among these principles. More interesting, however, is a belief that the principles approach does not provide real guidance in situations where duties conflict. Really, conflicts of duties greatly affect the quality and efficiency of medical care. ...
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In the paper “Medical Philosophy: The Four Principles Approach” the author focuses on the analysis of moral judgments and propositions. The four principles approach developed in the United States exemplifies one of the most important components of contemporary medical philosophy.


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