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

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

  • Essay length: 445 words
  • Submitted: 07/06/2005
Share this essay:
AS and A Level Practical Questions

The first 200 words of this essay...

"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. Having absolute moral rules helps doctors, because they don't have to think about the individual circumstances or worry about possible consequences that are impossible to calculate or predict.

Others claim that this oversimplifies modern medicine. It is not clear, they may say, what would count as killing someone. Doctors disagree about the definition of death as 'brain-stem death'. Some doctors would consider withholding food as killing a patient, while others would disagree. 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

Read more
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

  • "
    Markedbyteachers.com has really helped with my revision and is a valued resource for help with coursework. It has inspired me to write essays as good as the essays on the site. Definitely worth the investment.
    "
    Chris Mckellar. Media Studies, IT, English. A Level Student.
  • "
    This site has allowed me to gain confidence in my work and obtain the best results, by using the submitted courseworks and essays as guidelines. I thank everyone who has participated in adding their work to it!!
    "
    Sabreena, England. A Level Student. Biology and Chemistry.

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.