"Moral absolutes are unhelpful when making decisions about medical ethics."

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

"Moral absolutes are unhelpful when making decisions about medical ethics." Some doctors would reject this claim, arguing that moral absolutes help decision making in medical ethics. For example, the rule 'Do not kill' is part of the oath taken by doctors. Some doctors would agonise over a decision whether to kill a terminally ill patient who has asked to die. These doctors might then feel guilty if the family turned out to have different wishes, or if a cure was later found for the illness.

Middle

Doctors may say that, rather than trying to apply inflexible moral absolutes, it is better to focus on the well-being of the patient. If giving a high dose of painkillers prevented a patient from dying in agony, doctors might say it doesn't matter what rules were or weren't broken. Others would disagree, saying that clear rules are essential to protect patients and doctors. Doctors who had to kill Mary to save Jodie believed that the positive outcome to Jodie was a more important consideration than whether killing Mary broke an absolute rule.

Conclusion

Stem-cell research holds out the hope of providing cures that would save millions of lives. Situation Ethicists may believe that allowing such research is the compassionate, loving thing to do. The Catholic Church teaches that it is always wrong to kill an embryo. This particular moral absolute is considered unhelpful by supporters of stem cell research. It doesn't take into account the positive consequences to many millions of people. However, some Christians try to hold onto absolute principles while supporting the research. They might agree that it is wrong to kill, but might believe human life begins at a much later stage, meaning that stem-cell research is acceptable.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers
  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.