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Religion and Theology
Pages 4 (1004 words)
The principle or rule of double effect deals with a series of ethical standards, used to assess the acceptability of an act which would otherwise be legitimate but may also lead to certain undesirable outcomes.
In other words, it could be stated that a certain action whose intentional outcomes are good is permissible although it might lead to unintentional harmful consequences, considered as a side effect. However there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled. 1. Nature of an action which says that the action should be either ethically indifferent or it should be good. 2. Means-end condition which says that the worse consequences of an action should not be the means to get the good result. 3. The intention should always be right i.e., the action should be intended to bear good results and the worse outcomes should always be unintended and considered as a side effect. 4. Proportionality condition that requires that the good outcomes of an action must weigh proportional to the bad ones. One of the best examples of application of this principle can be the doctor’s verdict to increase the dosage of anodyne, such as Morphine, to sooth the pain of a critically ill patient. Although the doctor knows that the increased dosage may be lethal. This doctrine suggests this act to be ethical as the doctor’s intentions are to ease the pain of patient and not to let him die. This particular example can be explained by considering the conditions of PDE. The doctor’s intention is to ease out the pain, so it fulfills the first condition, as the nature of the action is good. ...
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