• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the view that only a religious ethic can provide an acceptable basis for medical ethics.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

3. Discuss the view that only a religious ethic can provide an acceptable basis for medical ethics. Medical ethics concerns many areas of ethical debate. Including such controversial issues such as euthanasia, abortion and human cloning, medical ethics sparks lively debates. The issue of abortion is a very relevant and controversial issue. There are opposition and supporters from both a religious ethical background and a non-religious ethical background. Those who come from a Christian ethical background tend to have a similar argument, that of the sanctity of life. Roman Catholics oppose abortion using the Christian ethical theory of Natural Law. Abortion would be going against natural law as it interferes with God's will. Abortion is right in no circumstances, in other words it is intrinsically evil, as it involves the murder of an innocent life. Protestants do, in principle, oppose abortion on the ground that murder is wrong, as stated in the bible; "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus) and as abortion is in effect murder, abortion must therefore also be wrong. ...read more.

Middle

These arguments also apply in relation to euthanasia. Roman Catholics view murder as wrong and as euthanasia is essentially murder, it must also be wrong. It would also be considered as going against Natural Law as it interferes with God's will, just as abortion does. Protestants would claim that the bible condemns euthanasia as it is murder, yet come more liberal Protestants again claim that all factors should be considered in order to make a decision relative to that person's individual situation. Many people would argue however that without a religious ethic there are no clear rules and boundaries. Deontological ethical theories, that are absolutist theories that apply in all situations, provide these boundaries as the answer will always be the same. Yet not all religious ethical theories are deontological, such as Fletcher's Situation ethics, which is teleological. This means that religious ethics do not always provide a clear cut answer, just as non-religious ethics may not. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although some Christian ethics will provide a stable answer for every situation, an answer that will never change and therefore will have clear-cut boundaries, not every person in the world will ever be of the same religion, and therefore it cannot be universal. Therefore a non-religious ethic which everyone could agree on seems more acceptable, such as one that allows situations to be considered, because therefore a religious ethic could be used in certain circumstances if the people involved would like to do so, as that happens to be their own "situation"; similarly if someone does not want to apply a religious ethical theory then they are not obliged to do so, because again this option would apply to their situation. Therefore situationist ethics that are not based on religion can be made universal, allowing religious ethics to be applied or not according to the wishes of the people involved and this seems to me to be the only acceptable basis for medical ethics, an ethic that will allow for everyone's personal beliefs. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. RE euthanasia for and against

    It might not be convenient for us but is good for everyone else in England as it helps maintain order. People in favour of following this type of utilitarianism would say that as long as we have a set of rules, we could all be as happy as possible.

  2. Utilitarianism VS Kantian Deontological Ethics

    that you weren't well enough to attend. However, a funeral is not the type of family occasion you can usually 'get out of' simply by 'pulling a sickie'. Your relatives may rearrange the funeral for another day requiring you to lie again.

  1. Ethical Issues Involved In The Legislation of Euthanasia?

    But some people say that being dead is not different from not having been born yet, and nobody makes a fuss about the bad time they had before they were born. In my opinion there is a big difference, even though being dead will be no different as an experience from the experience of not having yet been born.

  2. From the religion you have studied, discuss the view that religious ethics must be ...

    Other Christians and philosophers, however, put duty first. Duty is derived from value; we ought to do what helps achieve the goal. The word duty refers to an obligation that is based on a relationship or that results from one's station in life.

  1. Business Ethics

    Because of these high expectations, professionals have adopted codes of ethics; also known as codes of professional conduct. These ethical codes call for their members to maintain a level of self-discipline that goes beyond the requirements of laws and regulations.

  2. Arguing against the death penalty. Truly there is no purpose to the Death Penalty ...

    Is not such a statement, and its advocate, sick though; sick with anger, hatred, and confusion; sick from the pain of loss? This practice finds its roots in rage, the consuming rage experienced when a loved one is murdered and the fabricated rage every citizen is conditioned to hold against enemies of the state.

  1. How are religious and ethical principles used in the abortion debate?

    This belief that human life is valuable for its own sense and not as a means for something else is a stance advocated by hugely influential philosopher Immanuel Kant, who argues that people and foetuses have intrinsic value and not instrumental value - they cannot be disposed of for the benefit of others.

  2. With reference to the topic of abortion , examine and comment on the controversies, ...

    of conception the embryo is a person and according to the sanctity of life the foetus? life is intrinsically valuable. Peter Vardy and Paul Grosch summarise the debate with this quote ?Whether the foetus is a person or potential person.? They refer to two possible factors for establishing personhood, relational factors or biological indicators.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work