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Monday, 23 September 2013

The fifth and sixth medical ethics isms-Deontology and Rights Theory

Deontology departs from pragmatic philosophies of ethics. The extreme of Deontology would be those who follow Ayn Rand's Objectivism.  Deontology is all about motives. One can make a decision out of duty, but the right or wrongness of that decision is based on one's motives. 

I have been talking about this with two people this weekend. Motives are one thing and actions another. If you have read Kant, you will recognize this ism. The goodness of an action is based on good will and the badness of an action is based on bad will. Kant, however, believed in moral absolutes, but today's Deontologists do not.

Of course, a pro-lifer immediately sees the huge flaw in this approach to ethics. If a person has good reasons, and good will, the action is good.


Rights Theory involves these sources: 
UN Declaration on Human Rights (1948)
UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2001)
UNESCO Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (1995-2007)

Does a person have a right to an abortion? Does a person have a right to die? And so on....

Enough, this is like reading Screwtape Letters four times in a row...