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 MERCADO Questions for the Third Exam

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jimenez



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

Mercado
Mercado
1. In bio-medical ethics and in both “beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues/dilemmas, the concept of human dignity often figures in. Do a conceptual analysis of the concept of “human dignity”. How is this concept understood in different contexts or with reference to different issues (give examples)? How do you think should this concept be understood?

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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Mercado



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PostSubject: third exam   Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:56 pm

Mercado, Febrea Arem R.
Philosophy 171

1. In bio-medical ethics and in both “beginning-of-life and end-of-life issues/dilemmas, the concept of human dignity often figures in. Do a conceptual analysis of the concept of “human dignity”. How is this concept understood in different contexts or with reference to different issues (give examples)? How do you think should this concept be understood?

HUMAN DIGNITY remains firmly embedded in the study of philosophy and thus, proved to be pivotal in the understanding of the nature of human worth. The key questions are the definition and nature human dignity, the source of human dignity, and the implications of this abstract to ethical dilemma.
Different definitions stem from philosophical principles and beliefs. The idea of substantive right depends upon the idea of human dignity. Individual owes allegiance to the legal representative of the nation – the state. The state in turn “shall protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity...”
By definition, dignity is simply “the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect.” Therefore, human dignity is the expression and recognition of the value, worth, significance and importance of human beings. Human beings are worthy of a particular level of esteem or respect simply because they are human beings. Ethics & Medicine deduced that human dignity is “The exalted moral status which every being of human origin uniquely posses.” It implies that those who possess dignity are not mere collections of properties; but part of the set of properties characterizing and distinguishing a human. However, human dignity is not a tangible property. It is based on inference.
The main problem of dignity rests on who determines such “dignity” and human worth. Human dignity is rooted both on doing and being. The definitional dilemma of the concept of human dignity is parallel with the nature-nurture debate. Upon entering this world, the societal structures and human moral system attached and gave every human being a human dignity. Being human automatically turns into the acquisition of a dignity. Individuals have the freedom to determine their “future” together with their “dignity”. One can expand his dignity by ability or a combination of abilities and capacities. However, individuals ought to maintain and develop this dignity.
The inherent aspect of human dignity can be traced in the belief of the Divine Command Theory. Every human being is endowed with “equal, inestimable, and irreducible dignity”. This is recognized along with the concept of respect, autonomy, empowerment and personhood.
The concept of human dignity has ethical implications to bioethical issues from the beginning to the end of life. Included in these are the following: embryo research, assisted reproduction, access to health care and reproductive technologies, disability, and assisted suicide. The fact that all human beings have an innate and irreducible dignity means that all deserve equal respect and treatment.
Commonly, the concept of human dignity is used as an argument during beginning and end-of-life dilemma. In beginning of life, the antiabortion side uses the dignity of fetus as a defensive argument. Fetus have human worth, therefore it is morally wrong to kill the unborn human. For pro-choice theorist, by allowing no choice to the mother, the society is degrading the dignity of the mother in determining the optimal choice for her and her unborn child. This will eventually led to the perpetuation of the exploitative societal structure directed against the women, disenfranchising them. In end-of-life dilemma, the main debate is between medical paternalism and patient’s autonomy. Medical practitioners ought to, primum non nocere do no harm and treat the patient toward the prolongation of life. The claim of the “patient-autonomy” argues that medical authority overrides the patient’s wishes. The assertion of self-determination of the human worth and future lies between the often conflicting views between the doctor (i.e. using medical authority resting on commitment and competence) and the patient’s wishes to end life. The medical practitioner should prescribe the probability of survival in life-threatening situation and provide a detailed account of the situation; but the patient should have the final decision on the worth of his/her life. The doctor should respect the autonomy and freedom of choice of the patient to determine the continuance of one’s life; thus, giving the right to die with dignity.


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.

My “moral system or code” upon understanding of the various ethical systems is a mixture and combination of moral conventional morality, modernist ethical theory and virtue ethics. However, the core principle of my personal moral system is the categorical imperatives of duty-based ethics. The imperative is to “do X”. But before doing an action, I will first and foremost analyze the situation and apply my principles.
I will still adhere to the principles of the Divine Command Theory and believe in God. However, there are half-truths and false facts in the Bible. The premium principle in the Bible for me is the idea of doing good to others without any reservations and without regard to any rewards afterwards. Doing good is for the sake of doing it as a duty not only to God, but more importantly to other people and least of all to myself. “Doing good” has innate moral worth. This is my main duty. There will be no coercion and deception. These also have utilitarian purposes. More preferably I will do good for the sake of the greater number of people. The result of my choices and actions will be condemned as my free choice. I will be accountable and responsible to every choice and decision Rationality and freedom will supersede everything in the process of improving myself and rendering service to others toward an equal and just society. However, the term "good" is abstract and vague. I will determine the act, motivation or character as "good" based on rationality as an autonomous and free individual
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