Autonomy Vs Kantian Ethics

1301 Words 6 Pages
Immanuel Kant’s deontological ethical theories provide a perfect edification on why it is morally reprehensible to apprehend and then experiment on dozens of individuals against their knowledge and will. The assumption, and argument, of the doctor being morally wrong in experimenting on homeless individuals will be buttressed on Kantian ethics. My argument will be as follows:
A. The Doctor’s research is justified if and only if the research treats people as ends.
B. It is not the case that the Doctor’s research treats people as ends.
C. Therefore, it is not the case that the Doctor’s research is justified.
The argument against the Doctor’s research being justified will be Kant’s view of autonomy as well as the two imperatives, hypothetical
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Kantian autonomy stipulates that the patient must be informed completely of the experimentation to allow for the homeless individuals to make a rational and un-coerced decision. Autonomy is defined as self-determination to make rational, informed, and un-coerced decisions. Autonomy is the inherent right of all human beings and is what separates animals from rationally thinking humans. The doctor has hired street toughs to gather as many homeless individuals as necessary for experimentation, further using more people to get to an ultimate end goal. This is relevant because the Doctor would need to define what it means to be autonomous and why the homeless individuals do not fit into such a definition. Any answer would reveal a malicious bias toward these individuals; in turn revealing the Doctor has a non-rational …show more content…
Medical research, according to Kant, should be motivated by way of respect to the patient and their autonomous decisions. The end goal, the cure, brought by the research is not a sufficient end as the end contradicts itself. The doctor has a moral duty to uphold ethical research, which he circumvents by hiring hooligans to round up homeless individuals. If he believed his research was completely ethical then he would have informed the subjects before gathering them. He did not inform the subjects before gathering them; therefore his research was not ethical. As stated in the previous paragraph, the Doctor would have no rational foundation on which to claim that these homeless individuals should not have the same rights and protections as non-homeless

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