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 SANTIAGO Questions for the Third Exam

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jimenez



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Join date : 2008-11-25

PostSubject: SANTIAGO Questions for the Third Exam   Sun Mar 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Santiago
Santiago
1. In what ways may the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence come in conflict? In cases where these two come in conflict, how should doctors decide?

2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual.
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santiago



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PostSubject: Re: SANTIAGO Questions for the Third Exam   Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:55 pm

1. In what ways may the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence come in conflict? In cases where these two come in conflict, how should doctors decide? (use principle of utilitarianism)

Beneficence and non-maleficence promote that people have a moral obligation to provide assistance to others to promote their interests without (or at least with a minimum amount of) harm. However, there are medical procedures designed to help people, and at the same time, cause some amount of harm to the patient in terms of physical, social, or moral health.

People with SARS or aids are stigmatized by members in their community for having such diseases. They are thought of as plagues that could contaminate other people. But in order to address their health problems, they must seek the help of a doctor. However, by seeking help, they expose themselves to others and, thus, be stigmatized by people. Furthermore, people with these diseases are required to remain in isolation or at least make no contact that would cause the spread of the virus. Because of these precautions, the patient’s freedom would be restricted and his/her case may be exposed.

Patients who undergo therapies, such as chemotherapy, drug abstinence, and implosive behavior therapy must undergo physical and psychological pain to overcome their sickness. In the case of the cancer patient, he/she must endure the nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and even infertility for undergoing the process. For the drug dependent or drug abuser, the period of withdrawal can really be painful. It will include restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and fatigue. For the person who has social phobia or other phobias that affect normal daily functioning, behavioral therapies that involve full exposure to the anxiety-producing stimulus could cause the person to faint or experience extreme agitation. Despite the excruciating pain these therapies produce, they are necessary in the treatment process in order to eliminate bad cells or change maladaptive behaviors.

Different people have different beliefs. Some people do not approve of any medical intervention, while others simply do not want anything foreign placed inside their bodies (i.e. blood or organs). However, there are times that the only way to save a person from dying is for him/her to undergo blood transfusion or organ transplantation. But because of the principle of non-maleficence, doctors consent not to do the procedure to the patient for fear of breaching the patient’s religious belief. By doing so, the doctor fails to do his/her obligation to rescue the patient from dying.
When a doctor is faced with this kind of dilemma, the best thing to do is to do something that would ensure the person’s survival and give long term benefits. To an enlightened utilitarian, the doctor must seek to promote the patient’s need to stay alive while making sure that his/her survival is the best possible alternative a doctor can give (for both the patient and the entire community). Furthermore, when the doctor makes a decision, he must be able to outweigh the potential benefits with the potential harm for both the patient and the rest of the community.


2. After careful considerations of the various ethical theories/views we discussed, what “personal moral system or code” can you come up with and which you can adopt? Be sure to talk about the values, precepts/ideas, and other elements that should comprise this “personal moral system or code”. Include your conception of freedom and accountability in this given moral system and your view of what it means to be a moral individual

To be a moral individual, one must follow a set of strongly held beliefs and at the same time be open to new ideas. With this, I mean a person must be able to believe in something that is objective or universal and at the same time open to the idea that there can be other morally acceptable views that other people may hold. I believe that for a person to be moral, he/she must be able realize that other people have other ways of being moral and those ways may in a way also be similar to mine, though totally different. So to be moral means to be understanding of the way people act, and to be sensitive to other people’s beliefs while maintaining one’s belief. I am objective because I believe that there is a universal truth that all people follow. It may seem that people have different beliefs because of their different practices, but in principle, there is a standard or outline that people follow. To make an analogy, all people are following a single cross stitch pattern, but the colors and the kinds of threads they use differ based on preferences or what the circumstances call for.

Furthermore, to be a moral individual is to be selfless and “selfish” at the same time. To be selfless means to be able to help people without having to expect anything in return, that is, to do good just for the sake of doing good. To see that each person has worth and to treat any other person the same way as you would with any other (though not in absolute terms), i.e. without prejudice or discrimination. To see fellow humans as capable of reason and not see them as inferior beings that are stupid and incapable of giving ideas because of their appearance. To see in others their own goodness and potentials and help them realize them. To be able to take pride in other people’s achievements without feeling put down or jealous. A person must not only see things in others but also see things in him/herself. To take pleasure in having helped others and witnessing the success of others, and using them as inspirations to achieve more for oneself. To learn from every “small” or “big” individuals you meet through a genuine friendly conversation or simply by mere observation, without using them solely for their utility.

Moreover, the most important measure of one’s morality is to be able to live with freedom. Freedom, when used loosely may cause dangers because it may mean that a person may do whatever it is he/she wishes. But in its true sense, freedom is not something absolute. It has limitations and parameters. But theses parameters do not act as hindrance to one’s freedom, they are those which make freedom possible. To be free, one must be able to act responsibly and be accountable for one’s actions. In this way, we become free of our “primitive” drives and are able to take control of ourselves.

To be moral is to be accountable for ourselves and our actions, to see the goodness in others and in ourselves, and to act based on our beliefs while having the discernment, open mind, and a critical take on other ideas and our own beliefs, as well.
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