Sample Theology Essay Paper on Bioethical Decisions

Healthcare providers have s particular duty of caring for their patients and the society. It is
largely conceived that service providers act in the best interest of their clients, although conflicts
sometimes emerge between obligation to patient and social expectations. In professional
practice, the physician interests for the patient may conflict with their wishes or consent. Ethical
theories stipulate an ordered code of moral standards that apply to determine what is morally
right and morally inept regarding human actions and behaviors in general. It is critical that
practitioners understand the essential ethical theories and their application to resolve ethical
dilemmas in service delivery.
Teleology and Utilitarianism
Derived from the Greek word for goals, Telos, teleological theories emphasize the outcomes of
an action as the primary step to determine its morality. This consequentialist approach considers
moral theories to inform reviews of acts primarily on outcomes. Teleological theories determine
the rightness or wrongness of an act depending on the good and bad effects. The most prominent
form of teleology is utilitarianism that stipulates one to act for the greatest good for the greatest
number of people (Mandal, et al. 5). The utilitarianism ethical theory defines an action right if it
produces substantial happiness for the most people. Hedonistic utilitarian’s define utility in terms
of pleasure, which is interpreted as the absence of pain. In this context, the value of wellbeing is
assessed in terms of satisfaction, happiness, or pleasure. This ethical principle posits that
professionals produce the maximal balance of positive value. The universal moral truth that is
the ultimate standard of correctness and wrongness for utilitarian’s states actions are right in
proportion because to promote happiness, even they may produce the opposite of happiness. Tus
it is demand to produce the most significant balance of good over evil.
In contemporary deliberations, there emerges two forms of utilitarianism; act
utilitarianism and rule utilitarianism. Under act utilitarianism, one must evaluate the positive and
negative outcomes of an action. On the other hand, rule utilitarianism considers the impacts of
adopting certain rules that act utilitarian disregard to justify one actions by direct appeal the

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principle of utility. In the context of rule utilitarianism, a moral code determines which rules,
rather than conceivable alternatives, if generally implemented would produce the greatest good.
Thus, actions are morally apt if they align with the set of established rules.
Deontology (Duty Ethics)
Deontological theories challenges most of the things utilitarian theorists affirm. Deontology is
derived from Greek terms meaning the science of duty. Deontology encompasses applying the
same rule for everyone in similar situations. Championed by Emmanuel Kant, the deontological
morality theory provides a rational framework of agreed principles that guide morality and the
principles that prescribe various duties (Mandal, et al. 5). Kant’s categorical imperative states
that individual actions should be in such a way that one’s maxim becomes a universal law. This
connotation compares with the golden rule of doing unto others what you would have do unto
you. The second notion posits that individuals act in the way they always treat humanity not
simply as a means, but always as an end. Kant is a strong advocate of truth and strict conformity
to duty, which provides an unconditional bond. Unlike utilitarianism, an act of lying is evil since
it harms the dignity and discourse of humans
Virtue Ethics
The virtue ethic strand is about being good. Virtue ethics divers the analytical emphasis from
rule-based decision making as proposed by deontological theories or consequentialism of
utilitarianism towards the concepts of individual ad the ethics of human character. Virtue ethicist
emphasize acts of desirable traits such as benevolence or charity (Kotzee, et al. 12). Other
admirable characteristics comprise mercy, patience, loyalty, courage, modesty, and friendship.
Virtue ethics seeks to maximize happiness, which it perceives in a highly personal way and is
fundamentally tied to practicing and cultivating primary virtues (Kotzee, et al. 15). Fronted by
Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato, this ethical proposition states that the primary objective
is to enhance the human spirit, mind, and body to the greatest potential possible by practicing
virtues like temperance, justice, prudence, and fortitude.
The Ethics of Care
The concept of care ethics is a feminist philosophical proposition that utilizes relational and
context-bound meanings to morality and decision making. The concept of care ethics implies the
idea regarding the nature of normative ethical theory and morality. The care ethic perspective
contrasts the ethical theories that utilize principles to define the morality of actions such as

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deontology, justice theory, utilitarianism and is not absolute and incontrovertible. A major
proponent of the care ethic, Nel Noddings alludes caring is the basis of morality (Amer).
Because the impulse to care is universal, the ethics of caring is free from the bounds of moral
relativism to the equal degrees with virtue ethics. Nodding states that a relation consists of two
parties, the one caring and the one being cared for. What is distinctive in these relations is that
the one offering care responds to a perceived need of the cared for (Amer). In determining how
to respond accordingly, the service provider uses a problem-solving mode to guide the particular
relationship and context to avoid tripping for impartial, abstract, and impersonal reasoning of
utilitarian, deontology, and other rule-based theories.
The Relational-Responsibility Ethics
Relational ethics posits that some relationship in the healthcare setting are better that other
because they foster growth, recovery, and better health outcomes. These are the kind of
relationships that healthcare professional conduct that align with a presupposition of the
availability of a concrete other, besides the general other (Amer). Proponents of these approach
deconstruct these relationships to understand the vital elements of ethical relationships. The
founding principles of relational ethics include respect, engagement, knowledge, uncertainty,
embodied, and environment. The most significant of these values is mutual respect and closely
augmented by engagement (Amer). In the relational ethics context, responsibility guides the
interactions with each other to precipitate ethical action. An in-depth understanding of
relationships with others and appropriate actions requires for an evaluation of the universal
principles, traditions, rationality, interconnectedness, and subjectivity. The primary tenet of
relational ethics is that ethical actions happen within the context of relationships. This marks a
massive shift from previous biomedical regimes that view the individual as a static bearer of
rights to perceive the patient and service providers as interacting agents (Amer). In this context,
the service user and healthcare professional must interact with each other guided by moral
responsibilities and norms. It is vital that personal identity or the humanness of individuals
remain unchanged for moral course to avoid dehumanizing people and denying them a capacity
of moral subjects to determine the intentions and outcomes of actions.
Ethical Absolutism and Relativism
The concept of ethical absolutism postulates that standards are always genuine. However,
relativism opines morality occurs within contexts of situations. Thus, absolutism champions

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equality while relativism campaigns for equity. Absolutism hold that moral values are constant
despite the people, time, and place involved (Amer). In this context, certain standards are less or
greater than another moral absolute. The advantage of absolutism is the vital assessment of ethics
and maintaining equality because rules apply to diverse societies. A popular example of
absolutism is the Kantian ethic that prescribes an action worthy if the principle behind it is apt.
Relativism on the other hand imposes a moral standard depended on context because
nothing is naturally wrong or right. This perspective is largely applicable in contemporary
society. The advantages of relativism encompass the recognition of diversity and gray areas on
morality (Amer). However, its inadequacies comprise reducing the value of an action from being
morally right to mere social acceptability. For instance, some societies practice abortion while it
begs the appropriateness of tolerating such actions.
A major question perturbing medical ethicists is how best to describe the components of good
medical practices and the appropriate medical decisions. Action-based ethicists see the best
practices as comprising those that generate the greatest outcomes for service users and the
society. Deontological proponents opine acting in accordance with ethical principle and set rules.
In contrast, character-based ethicists such as virtue ethics perceive actions right if they emerge
from virtuous moral behavior of the healthcare provider. Distinctively, the virtue ethics in
healthcare enables professionals to maintain a moral character and promote the wellbeing of the
patient. Medical virtue ethicist cites three reasons why the character-based approach provides a
more realistic and practice-guided approach of understanding good medical stances than rule-
based systems. One reason is that rules are too abstract and general to stipulate moral behavior.
Virtue ethicists opine that principles should be decoded within their context, which requires
virtues like good moral judgement and perceptiveness. A second reason is that rules set typically
minimum standards for what qualifies as good thus encouraging an attitude of mere compliance
with established standards. Contrastingly, virtue ethics in healthcare are excellence-based and
concern how personal virtues illustrated by physicians enhance the good of patients to the
highest possible level. Lastly, there are similarities between the real practice of clinical
judgement and wise ethical decisions. In this context, virtue ethics are better positioned that rule-
based theories to understand the evaluations of goals, benefits, and alternatives that encompass

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appropriate decision-making. Besides, virtue ethics bind medical ethics closer to ideal medical
practices compared to teleological or deontological theories.

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Works Cited

Amer, Ahmed B. "Understanding the Ethical Theories in Medical Practice." SCIRP Open
Access, 2019,
Kotzee, Ben, et al. "Virtue in Medical Practice: An Exploratory Study." HEC Forum, vol. 29,
no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-19.
Mandal, Jharna, et al. "Utilitarian and deontological ethics in medicine." Tropical Parasitology,
vol. 6, no. 1, 2016, p. 5.