Bioethics Study Guide 2

Bioethics Study Guide 2 - 1. Bioethics is a field of...

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1. Bioethics is a field of ethics, the field concerned with ethical behavior in the realm of health-related practices. One way of learning about what’s ethical is to learn relevant non-ethical facts. For instance, if you want to know whether it’s morally right to assist some pursue a certain course of treatment you should learn about the treatment its alternatives (alternative treatments and the alternative of not doing anything): what they involve, their relevant potential positive and negative effects, the odds of those effects. In the realm of health-related practices there are two ways in which the non-ethical information can be systematically elusive. Explain those ways, for each illustrating with two situations in which that sort of information could be crucial, and how you might go about gaining the relevant information. Elusive: difficult to find out do to something inherent to the very situation. 1. Personal dimension: 2. Dimension of the expertise: 3. Personal dimension- This is the information that can be hard to know since it has to do with more than how a certain treatment will effect a person’s body, but also includes how it could effect the persons life (i.e. mood, relationships, etc.) . The personal dimension varies from person to person which makes it systematically elusive. 4. 5. Professional dimension- This is the information that experts (ie doctors) may have a good idea about what a treatment will do, but there is a level of uncertainty about weather it will work or if it will have all of the desired outcomes. Can especially be seen in the case of unknown, trial practices such as experimental drugs. There has to be the question of what are the odds that the desired outcome will be produced. Basically any uncertainty in the minds of experts or disagreements among experts about outcomes of a procedure. Obviously non-ethical information isn’t enough for our purposes. You could even be omniscient about the non-ethical facts and still not know what to do ethically. Somehow you have to get from the non-ethical facts to ethical facts. One way of doing this is to apply a moral principle. Moral principles always have two elements, a type of behavior and an ethical status. Explain these two elements, and why a moral principle must have both, illustrating with examples. Explain how a moral principle can help us learn what to do in particular cases, illustrating with examples. (The examples can be imaginary. This is true throughout unless I say otherwise.) Moral principle must have both: 1. Ethical behavior 2. Ethical Status Moral principles are the association of an ethical status with an act. Without the ethical status, there would be no means to apply a “moral principle (without an ethical status)” to a situation in order to make the moral choice since there is not indication of whether an act is morally right or wrong. The action is needed to apply an ethical status to in order to apply in situations in which that act is being
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2012 for the course PHIL 165 taught by Professor Gradstudent during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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Bioethics Study Guide 2 - 1. Bioethics is a field of...

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