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Differences between Ethics and Law From Bioethical Point of View - Essay Example

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Differences between Ethics and Law From Bioethical Point of View

Although there is a boundary between laws and ethics, the boundary does not separate them sufficiently. This paper seeks to define law and ethics and in the process try to bring out the difference between the two. Ethics comes from the notion of rights and wrongs within a given society. These wrong and rights are based on actions we would expect others to do for us in return. We are thus forced or expected to do to other people, as we would wish them to do to us. With time, these expectations have been developed into principles that define ethics in a given society. On the other hand, laws are developed and imposed by the government to enhance harmony among members of a given society1. This implies that laws are generally accepted in a given society as guiding principles if they create a difference between wrongs and rights. The government, through peoples representatives, creates laws for a given society and not the vice versa. For these laws to be generally acceptable, they must fulfill the society’s requirements for wrongs and rights. Laws are therefore developed from existing ethics and imposed by the government to mediate the relationship between members of a particular society. An example of a common ethic in medical practice is treating emergency cases urgently. A similar law created by the government would state that all emergency cases brought to a hospital should be attended within the shortest time possible. The law would continue and give penalty for defaulters. Similarly, ethics have attached consequences that stipulate actions to be taken on defaulters. Laws are therefore developed from existing ethics for them to be generally accepted by a given society2. The development of laws from existing ethics implies that laws are just extensions of ethics and hence related. Due to general acceptance principle, ethics are unwritten rules that mediate between people of a given society. On the other hand, laws have a wider coverage and varied interpretations that require preservation in writing. Ethics of a given society do not require to be kept in a written format since people are aware and ready to commit to them. Ethics are therefore established on people’s conscience eliminating the requirement of written a document. For a code of conduct to be accepted as an ethic in a given society, people must have the ability to recall it when a need for application arises. Therefore, some institutions have a written document that stipulates the code of ethics that must be upheld by the members of such institution. For example, health institutions have a code of ethics document for medical practitioners. Elimination of ambiguity and preservation are the two main reasons for writing down laws. Ethics on the other hand are preserved in people conscience and passed from one generation to another. This factor weakens the difference between written and unwritten rules. Writing of laws is done objectively while ethics are preserved in people‘s consciousness for a similar objectives. This implies that the existence of laws as written rules and ethics as unwritten rules does not create sufficient difference between the two implying that laws and ethics are similar. Laws have to be approved by all arms of the government before being put into application. On the other hand, ethics do not require approval by any party since they are generally accept ...Show more


Differences between Ethics and Law "from bioethical point of view" Introduction As young children, we grew up in a society and developed awareness of our surrounding from curiosity. In that particular period, the elder members of the society instilled in us the idea of wrong and right…
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