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Chapter 20

PHI2396 Chapter 20: Bioethic Note 16 Chapter 20

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Dean Lauer

Chapter 20 assisted Death debate I individual morality Principle-based ethics: oriented towards the question –“What ought I do?” these claim to tell us what is the right thing to do  it is very similar view but it is not clear black & white  What is right things to do? Utilitarianism (greatest happiness theory), deontology (categorical imperatives), divine command theory -gives no clear answers, rather give a framework with which to analyze difficult ethics questions -all linkage through the individuality -the difference from ancient time where important decision is made by us ourselves -what are the point of the studying these principles, if they do not provide concrete answers? -through these, there are more questioning & allow individuals to be more sensitive/informed of how the principles can answers giving different approaches/decisions to make compare to others. -these principles act as tools to expend understanding of the perspectives *however, there aren't absolute answers Utility/happiness – as net happiness Greatest Happiness Principle: wants us to maximize the greatest happiness for the greatest number/happiness overall -utilitarianism supports Self-interest of the potential euthanasia patient –including views from: Bentham, Mill, Hardin -looking at pro on euthanasia by allowing minimized suffering overall Reasoning as follows: potential euthanasia patient has severe suffering that outweighs the potential suffering (pain of loss, etc.) by relations to the death of the patient this claim can be tested by the fact that the family & other relations do not go into grief so great from the euthanasia death that they consider suicide. Thus, more happiness/less suffering –is maximized with the careful use of euthanasia *but following greatest happiness raises a question, can more people benefit from keeping the 1 person alive even if their pain were great pain? -if overall benefit is no-death -then it is better for not take a risk  there is still different view within utilitarianism: ** there is also Empiricism -theory based on science -looking at the experience for sense of right/wrong-pleasure/pain sacrificing/using other people for saving greatest pain Bioethicist Marcia Angell: proposed that the availability of legal euthanasia may have ethical utility psychologically -knowing that euthanasia is a legitimate option may relieve stress & anxiety linked with painful disabilities J. Gay-Williams: views that utility could be reduced to negative utility if euthanasia became an expectation for terminal patients or if a slippery slope were made  social interest recognized Respect for Persons Autonomy: as rational agents, we must NOT allow anything to change our rationality -it is reason that sets us free from nature, from the chains of causal relations & make us autonomou
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