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Ethical dilemma, analysing the dilemma using different ethical theories (utilitarianizm, liberty, virtue) - Essay Example

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Ethical dilemma, analysing the dilemma using different ethical theories (utilitarianizm, liberty, virtue)

According to Catherine Berglund (2007) ethics is “a process of reflection”. Reflecting on what is right and what seems to be wrong. Arguments are looked at and analysed in order to come to a conclusion. It is due to medical ethics, that the right to consent and confidentiality have been identified (Holland, 2007). Ethical decisions are made every day, by every person. Is it right to park on disabled parking space when you rushing your child to the hospital? Or, is it fair to lie to your partner even if you know that it would make him happy? This is just the tip of the moral dilemmas’ iceberg. In December 2011 the conjoined twins Jesus and Emmanuel were born in Brazil; each one have their own head, brain, nervous system, and spine. They share heart, lungs, liver and all lower body organs. Few days before their birth Chilean conjoined twins Maria Paz and Maria Jose were separated followed by the death one of the girl a week later. The question is, should the conjoined twins be separated? Utilitarianism refers to the ethical theory, which postulates that taking an appropriate course of action increases the chances of perfection (Manuel, Claire, Shanks & Meyer, 2011). Its moral worthiness is based on the consequences of actions (Rawls, 2011). Proponents of this theory are J.S. Mill and Jeremy Bentham (Rawls, 2011). The virtue theory, in this respect, emphasizes on the role of an individual’s character along with such virtues embodied by one’s character in the evaluation and determination of ethical behaviour (Crisp & Slote, 1997). Arguably, the virtue ethics is among the key approaches to the normative ethics, which more often than not is contrasted to deontology (Stephen, 2003). Liberty theory, on the other hand, holds that the fundamental moral concepts are the individual human rights (Devettere, 2002). It holds that rights to be respected are the ONINTERFERENCE rights (Devettere, 2002). Generally, these are categorized under rights to property, to life, and to liberty. In the spirit of liberalism, the proper limit to an individual’s enjoyment of such rights is her or his duty to respect similar rights of other people. A non-interference or negative right is an individual’s legitimate claim, which holds that other individuals should not interfere with her or him in any way. A positive right is the individual’s legitimate claim that society or possibly the government provide her or him with that which he/she requires (Devettere, 2002). Clearly, there are considerable differences in the approaches of the three theories to be applied in this case. Utilitarianism might be considered as an ethical approach that is quantitative and reductionist (Stephen, 2003). It considerably differs from other ethical theories such as deontological ethics, virtue ethics, pragmatic ethics and other consequentiality approaches (Stephen, 2003). While deontological ethics differ from utilitarianism in their disregard for consequantialism, pragmatic, virtue and other consequentiality ethics differ from utilitarianism through their considerable regard of character as an aspect that determines the achievement of pleasurable ethical results (Crisp & Slote, 1997). Utilitarianism theory is arguably the greatest principle that allows achieving happiness and felicity (Rawls, 2011). While applying the utilitarian theory to this case, it can be argued that ...Show more


Utilitarian, Virtue and Libertarian Approaches to Conjoined Twins Case Name Institution Date The present essay will explore the meaning and different concepts of ethical practice. Focusing on a case scenario, different theories of ethics will be outlined. The first section will expose the chosen ethical dilemma and describe the moral complexity of decision making…
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Ethical dilemma, analysing the dilemma using different ethical theories (utilitarianizm, liberty, virtue) essay example
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