Psychology 2990A/B Lecture Notes - Obstetrics And Gynaecology, Bioethics, Premarital Sex

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Lecture 1 :Biomedical ethics
Arguments from nature
- if it goes against nature = it is wrong.
- Sounds okay about euthanasia but not antibiotics, both goes
against nature
THE PRINCIPLE: If something is unnatural, it is wrong
THE PROBLEM: just b/c something is natural doesn’t mean that is it
either good or bad. Its hard to articulate what is or is not natural.
Consequence arguments
- informing the patient of her true diagnosis would only cause her
mental anguish. This mental anguish would serve to worsen her
condition, and she would gain no medical benefit from knowing
the truth. Lying to her has the best consequences. Therefore, her
doctor should lie to her.
- Doctor killing a patient in order to harvest their organ because
they have a low likelihood to live.
THE PRINCIPLE: if something has the best consequences, you should do
The problem: not only consequences matter.
“An OB/GYN informs her pregnant patient that she will be having a son.
The patient then asks for an aborting, b/c she only wanted to have
daughters. The OB/GYN refuses. The oatuent then asks for a referral for
an abortion. oNce again, the OB/GYN refuses. She reasons that b/c sehe
believes that sex-selection is morally worong, she has no duty to
perform the abortion m or refer the patient to someone else.
“A pharmacist refused to fill out prescription for birth control to a 18
year old unwed woman. He reasoned that b/c he believes contraception
and pre-marital sex to be morally wrong, he has no duty to fill the
prescription or be complicit in it being filled.
The PRNCIPLE: healh care professionals have a right to refuse on
grounds of conscience.
THE PROBLEM: sometimes, respect for a aptient’s choices may
outweigh a professional’s own moral beliefs.
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