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Ethical Theories

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Title: Ethical Theories


1
Ethical Theories
  • Unit 5

2
Ethical Principles
  • Beneficence principle of doing good
  • rather than harm
  • Nonmalificience

3
Ethical Principles
  • Autonomy principle that acknowledges
  • individuals have freedom of choice and action
    when considering plans that affect
  • them

4
Ethical Principles
  • Justice - the duty to give to each person what
  • they deserve and can legitimately claim

5
Rights
  • Justified claims that individuals or groups can
  • make upon others or upon society

6
The Principle of Formal Justice
  • Equals must be treated equally, and unequals
  • must be treated unequally.
  • -attributed to Aristotle

7
Principles of Distributive Justice
  • Egalitarian the duty to give to each person an
  • equal share

8
Principles of Distributive Justice
  • Humanitarian the duty to give to each person
  • according to individual need

9
Principles of Distributive Justice
  • Libertarian the duty to give to each person
  • according to individual effort, merit, or
  • contribution

10
Libertarian Principle
  • Differences in individual merit, effort, or
    contribution translate into differential ability
    to afford insurance and/or access treatment.
  • To a libertarian, these differences are not
    unjust.
  • As health care has become increasingly a
    business, this principle has assumed a strong de
    facto position.

11
Principles of Distributive Justice
  • Entitlement everyone is entitled to
  • whatever they get in the natural lottery at
  • birth.

12
Entitlement Principle
  • Each individual is responsible for improving
    their lot in life.
  • Inequalities between individuals in health,
    position, and wealth are tolerated.
  • Aggression or harm against others and unjust
    acquisition of goods are prohibited.

13
Principles of Distributive Justice
  • Utilitarian the duty to give to each person
  • according to the greatest good for the
  • greatest number.

14
Utilitarian Principle
  • Individual needs and wants are not considered.
  • Consideration is only given to providing
  • that which will serve the greatest number.
  • Societal Beneficence vs. Individual
    Beneficence
  • Libertarian and Utilitarian are concerned with
    maximizing goods and minimizing harms the
    Utility Principle.

15
Maximin Principle (John Rawls)
  • The duty to give to each person according to
    the greatest benefit to the least advantaged.
  • Each person is owed a fair opportunity to access
    health care.
  • Persons must have both an equal chance and the
    means to access the opportunity.
  • Persons are owed a decent minimum level of
    health care.
  • Decent minimum of health care is provided by
    subsidizing health care by those that have the
    means to do so.

16
Two Levels of Debate
  • The Individual Level
  • Social Policy

17
Issues to Consider
  • Is health care a right of all citizens?
  • If health care is a right, what is the decent
    minimum owed?
  • What are the limits to the right of health care?

18
Issues to Consider
  • How do the rights to health care balance against
    other rights?
  • To what extent do/should economic considerations
    intrude into clinical decision making?
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