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Ryerson University
PHL 302
Glen Hoffmann

1 October 9, 2009 NURSING ETHICS LECTURE 4 I Ethical Theories We have begun the course with an examination of ethical theories. An ethical theory provides us with norms, principles, or standards to govern the moral propriety of actions. We can then apply these theories to specific concepts and issues that arise in health-care ethics. 2 The first ethical theory we focused on was utilitarianism. Utilitarianism: actions that maximize utility (bring about the most utility for the most amount of people) and minimize disutility are morally justified. We then looked at another important ethical theory: deontology (or Kantian ethics). -Deontology: actions are morally justified that are performed out of a sense of duty. -Actions that accord with universalizable maxims, e.g., never lie, are morally justifiable. This week we will take a brief look at another moral theory: virtue ethics.
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