"Moral absolutes are unhelpful when making decisions about medical ethics."
Extracts from 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.
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.
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.
Found what you're looking for?
- Start learning 29% faster today
- Over 150,000 essays available
- Just £6.99 a month
- Over 180,000 student essays
- Every subject and level covered
- Thousands of essays marked by teachers