Research Paper: Ethical Problem(s) Relevant Values Stakeholders

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[. . .] He had excellent analytical skills, he focused more on the reformation of justice system e.g. penal system of Britain and English legal code, and he termed it, "Demon of Chicane," rather than facilitating the status quo system. This leads us to the conclusion that Jeremy Bentham was more of a philosopher of his time. He was continuously busy in finding new ways and theories to define the laws he had created. Secularism was popular in Jeremy Bentham's time. Therefore, his ideas and beliefs were highly influenced by it. He looked for conclusions dependant on the material explanation of good and bad, right and wrong. Furthermore, he criticized Christianity and said that it was too much based on institutions. David Hume (1711-1776) and French philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvetius (1715-17710) were the driving forces behind his work. Jeremy highly appreciated the works by these two specific philosophers and his ideas were a continuation of their ideas as well. "True justice was synonymous with the good of the whole" was Jeremy Bentham's motto. His philosophical ideas were based on this phenomenon.

Bentham knew that the British Parliament was run by some influential families. These families worked for their own self-interest. Bentham had once supported the demolition of monarchy and the rule of parliament. On the other hand, Bentham was not a big supporter of democracy; he supported parliament for the status quo as it was beneficial for all.

Bentham was a pioneer in the field of Utilitarianism. Without him, Utilitarianism might not have started. He gave birth to it and motivated other writers to expand his thought. Although the concept of greatest good for the greatest number was mentioned before Bentham as well, credit must be given to Bentham for bringing this in limelight.

Bentham had a follower who was known as James Mill who is responsible for supporting James's ideas. Bentham had followers who wanted reforms. James was a priest and the leader of this specific group. The cause of creation of this group was dissatisfaction. Mill was no ordinary supporter. He coined the term 'Benthamism' which was related to Utilitarianism and spread Jeremy's ideas. "Analysis of the Phenomenon of the Human Mind" was the most prominent work of James Mill. It was based on Bentham's ideas. It was published in 1829. James in his analysis sought and evaluated the 'pleasure-principle' on which most of utilitarianism depended.

There are two types of Utilitarianism the first one is Act Utilitarianism and the second is Rule Utilitarianism. The distinction between two types of Utilitarianism are therefore on the grounds that one focuses on the actions that are suitable in specific case, while Rule Utilitarianism focuses on general rules that can be followed at all times, hence the case of this child's treatment according to Rule Utilitarianism the case needs to be treated in the similar manner as it would have if the child was an American national. On the other hand Act Utilitarianism would suggest that the child's treatment should be performed because it will cause more happiness than the problems and is morally right.

Problems with Utilitarianism:

Although Utilitarianism is a good and well celebrated theory, it has its drawbacks. First, we have to assign values to harms and benefits of our actions. Then we have to assign values to the implications that result from our actions. Then a trade-off is made between the two. However, the problem arises in this calculation. It is very difficult to give values to harms and benefits. This is because a benefit for you might be a benefit for me. Furthermore, how do we assign values to abstract ideas like life? And how can we make valid comparisons of money with life? Furthermore, we are not fully aware of the implications of our actions. This makes us give wrong calculated values to our implications. In the end, this will result in a wrong decision on the basis of wrong calculation of values.

The most criticized point about utilitarianism is that it does not consider justice and its system. This is because often times there are situations when certain actions will prove to be highly beneficial to society but they would be unjust and against the legal system. The apartheid movement is a very good example. This is because the rule which was supposed to be beneficial at first might have been claimed to be bad after the apartheid movement.

Therefore, it can be concluded that if the moral decision we take are based on justice, then utilitarianism is not the correct option for us. It can be vital in these decisions. Utilitarianism lets us evaluate the implications of our decisions; both overt and covert. However, it can be acclaimed as a good principle because it focuses on the benefit of a group of individuals rather than a specific individual.

Deontology:

Deontological ethics is an approach of ethics that establishes the rightness of an act after evaluating the correctness of the acts committed. This approach is completely opposite to the approach followed by the consequentialism, which judges the correctness of an act on the basis of the outcome of the act instead of judging it by the act itself. In the approach followed in deontology even if the outcome of the act produces a bad consequence, the act itself will not be unethical and would be considered right. This approach emphasis on our duty to act in an ethical manner without looking at the consequences, this approach is quite similar to that of Rule Utilitarianism. Immanuel Kant's theory of ethics I considered to be the foundation of Deontological ethics. Kant has mentioned that the duty of a person is to act in an ethical manner and the consequences do not harm the moral intentions of the act. Kant has argued to act in a morally correct manner by acting in a responsible manner and has considered that the highest good is the good without qualification and the good in itself. By this Kant has highlighted the importance of the intrinsic good as well as the extrinsic good which comes from the consequences of the acts.

Applying the deontological ethics on this case, the intentions of the act or the decision needs to be evaluated. If the governing authorities decide not to treat the patient because of the political pressures, financial issues and future considerations, all these justifications are hinting towards bad intentions, on the other hand if the governing authorities decide to sustain all these pressures and go ahead with the treatment of the child, this seems to be the morally correct act, regardless of the fact that this decision can lead to bad consequences. Therefore the deontological ethics is also pointing in the same direction as Utilitarianism, which is to go ahead with the transplant of the 5-year-old child.

Rawlsian Ethics:

John Rawls is a contemporary philosopher that has put the concept of justice right at the centre of decision making. He considers that whatever we consider to be ethical or unethical in our social institutions and practices should be based on the principles of justice. Rawls coined a term "Original Position," he considers that people would realize the fact that their own well being comes from the promotion of rules and institutions, therefore a social order should be based on the egalitarian form of justice. Rawls believes on the presence of the Original Position which means that everyone would agree with certain set of duties that one owes to oneself and the society. The duties include the duties of justice, helping others, not harming others and keeping promises.

John Rawls has immense contribution to this concept. He stated that ethical acts or decision are those that lead to equitable distribution of goods and services. He argues that we should always make decision as if we were under a "veil of ignorance." The veil of ignorance would not let the benefits or burdens of an individual would be greater than the benefits or burdens of the other. Everyone would be treated equally under this "veil of ignorance."

Rawls was also criticized. Rawls did not mention what exactly is to be included in his treatment. Rawls highlights that these decisions are made under the basic structure of society. However, what Rawls does not do, is explicitly define the boundaries of society and what institutions would come under the basic structure of society.

Rawls' theory is applied in many ethical issues related to the healthcare system and policy making in the healthcare issues. The health issues in this approach are dealt with priorities given to the rights and liberties of individuals. In the same manner the question of natural duties can also be applied in this case. Rawls theory is based on giving dual considerations to both the consequences and the act itself which makes it a complex form of decision making.

Considering the case in hand and applying the leanings from the Rawls theory,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethical Problem(s) Relevant Values Stakeholders.  (2013, February 14).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-problem-s-relevant-values/5869802

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