Philo 171
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 MANALO Questions for the Third Exam

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PostSubject: MANALO Questions for the Third Exam   MANALO Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeSun Mar 29, 2009 11:27 pm

1. What is the principle of 'respect for persons'? Elaborate. Propose a way that this may be understood in different contexts, specifically in end-of-life situations.

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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PostSubject: 3rd exam   MANALO Questions for the Third Exam Icon_minitimeMon Mar 30, 2009 9:38 pm

1. The principle of ‘respect for persons’ can be understood in a variety of ways. Clearly, this could be remembered under Kantian ethics. This principle of Humanity tells us that we should never use persons merely as means but as ends in themselves. We should never involve them into a scheme of actions without their consent. It is important that we do not coerce them in doing something nor deceive them. People are rational beings. They are entitled to decide what they think is best for them. In times that they are not capable to do so, we should not take advantage of their weaknesses and vulnerability. We, in on way or another, must even help them in achieving their goals.

In life and death or end-of –life situations, this respect for persons must be keenly observed, especially by the medical practitioners. I still believe in the sanctity of life over quality. When patients are in PVS or comatose conditions, they must treat them with utmost care. Allow their respective guardians to choose medical procedures that they must undergo. They should not be pressured or forced to go under such even it can better their condition. Decisions must always be respected. If permitted while still in healthy or capable state, the patient can make his living will. With this document people around him will have a guide on what kind of treatment should be given. It somehow gives an assurance that they are not violating his wishes.

Bioethics should be given primary consideration. Medical researchers should not submit people as guinea pigs or some kind of animal to be tested every now and then. While the goal is to improve and preserve life, it must never be done at the expense of another life.

2. From all the ethical views we have covered this semester, I would prefer to adopt the principle of Kantian ethics as my personal moral code. Unlike Utilitarianism, it does not give too much emphasis on the consequences nor does it overly moralizes life. People innately search or want pleasure and utilitarian principles seem to justify wrong actions so long as it brings happiness for the greater good. I do not agree on such. Kantian ethics, on the other hand, values our duty as individuals and our inherent value without dwelling so much on the consequences.

In Kantian ethics the world would be a better place to live in. It is imperative that we follow our supreme moral duty, hence giving order in the society. Kant also acknowledges the goodness of a man or he sees as rational beings. It is in the faculty of our reasons that we justify morality. It gives us lesser chance of committing mistakes or that which is something immoral. Accordingly, we are in control of ourselves. We may not be totally free but we are free and autonomous enough to choose what kind of life we are to live. We can choose how to react on the things that the environment restricts or constrains us to do. Side by side with this freedom is our own accountability. Yes, we do make our own maxims in life but whatever the consequences of those may be, we are responsible for it. Living in accordance with our duty does not make the existence of harmonious relationships in this world impossible.

Being a moral individual is not merely adapting a certain ethical principle in life. One must believe in it and live by it. He who follows or does something which he thinks is good or right just because it is dictated by others or the norm is not tantamount to being a moral person. It is not only a matter of following what is right or wrong. He must be guided by his reasons in whatever way he chooses to do or react to situations even if it goes against the conventional way of viewing everything. For me, choosing to be moral does not confine one in following the strict rules or principles of morality as exemplified by all the ethical theories. It is matter of how one perceives it(morality) and how to be able to justify that kind of perception.
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