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Lecture 3


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Health, Aging and Society
Stefan Rodde

Ethical monism -monistic ethical theories hold that there is a single ultimate principle of morality - utilitarianism: principle of utility -deontology categorical imperative Pluralistic ethical theories hold that there are many basic principles of morality. ETHICAL PLURALISM – WD ROSS 1877-1971 Primae facie duties (PF DUTIES) - these are fundamental ethical obligations - they are intuitive - they are universally recognized contrasted with….. ACTUAL DUTIES - the duties we have in a particular situation - - it is often unclear what our actual duties are - -reasonable people can disagree with what actual duties are  do no harm, do good etc. Fidelity: to keep our promises Reparation – to compensate victims Gratitude- to return favours for favours Justice – to share goods fairly Beneficence – to improve the condition of others Self-improvement- to improve our own condition non-deficiency – to not injure others Actual duties In our ordinary lives, we often find that the primae facie duties compete and conflict with each other Our actual duty is what we should do in that particular situation Should I keep my promise to be home at 8:00 or stay out to help a friend in distress? Fidelity: keep promise Beneficence: help the friend My actual duty is what I should do in this situation. The actual duty depends on the situation. Problem: What should I do if two of duties CONFLICT? What should I do if the same duty recommends two different courses of action? USE YOUR BEST JUDGEMENT GOOD JUDGEMENT People who generally make good judgments posses a number of characteristics: -Unbiased -not overcome with emotions -Careful (weigh all the evidence) -Justify their decisions PRINCIPILISM A framework for ethical decision making in the biomedical context. Health care practiioners should make decisions in accordance with follow principles: 1.Autonomy 2.Non maleficence 3.Beneficence 4.Justice VIRTUE ETHICS – associated with Aristotle HUMAN ACTION Human action is goal oriented  we act for the sake of an end ( why did we do that?) What is the ultimate goal of human action? To achieve a good life ETHICAL ACTIONS AND THE GOOD LIFE If living, a good life is something that we ought to then understanding what a good life is essential for the ethical action. VIRTUE ETHICS IS A SELF INTERESTED ETHIC ( the reason why we act like this is because it is in my best interest) WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR A GOOD LIFE? - Externals (health, economic, well-being, etc.) - a person in chronic pain, or living in a dumpster is not living a good life - in order to live a good life, you must have these externals. - Activity – Not living a good life if you are not doing things with your life ( not being a couch potato) (they may be active by catching sticks 24/7, but are they LIVING A GOOD LIFE? NO) - Virtue - VIRTUE AND VICE - virtue = excellence - virtues a
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