Consequentialism In Medical Ethics

Consequentialism is a normative ethics theory whereby the ends justify the means; in other words, the consequence of an action justifies the moral acceptability of an action of the means taken to reach that end. It provides criteria and rules for moral evaluation and decision making. In the situation of a moral dilemma, consequentialism is a form of guidance that makes a person choose an action that creates the maximum amount of good. The rightness or wrongness of an action is irrelevant, because it is the overall goodness of the consequence that matters more.
A form of consequentialism, Mill’s theory of utilitarianism, further extends the concept of focusing on the consequences of an action. For Mill, an action should be based on creating
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It is vital to inform a person any information regarding their treatment before it is given to them, and if they refuse the treatment, to respect this decision in respect of their choice-making and their body. Not honoring their decisions would result in a consequences of creating a bad society. Secondly, beneficence involves persuading a person to make the most appropriate choice, not for one’s own good but for the benefit of the person. It is hard for physicians to try and balance the relationship of preventing harm and reducing risk when performing a medical procedure. Beneficence grounds physicians in making sure they are thinking of the welfare of the person because they deserve a healthy, happy outcome. Thirdly, non-malifence represents a basic medical ethical implication - do no harm. Physicians have to try and refrain from using treatment that will have an ineffective outcome. This hard because many medical procedures, whether planned or in an emergency, have a large effect of damage to the human body. It works hand in hand with beneficence in balancing how to cause the least harm to a …show more content…
Reason is used to focus on the rightness and wrongness of an action, rather than focusing on the consequences. A form of deontology is Kant’s theory whereby duty is done for the sake of the duty, and not for the sake of the benefits of the outcome from doing the duty. Deontology is more suitable as a theory to guide decision in medical ethics because it is intrinsic rather than instrumental. In medical ethics, this creates more of a focus on the patient rather than anything else. However, there is one downfall to deontology. A classic example is Nazi police asking a German family whether they are hiding a Jewish family in their house. Is it the family’s duty not to lie, so they would be obliged to tell the police the family is hiding, sending the family to their death. Nevertheless, in today’s society, especially in medical ethics, telling the truth as a duty is better for the action or decision. It avoids immorality such as lying and intellectual dishonesty, and rather focuses on moral duty and thinking about surroundings of the action such as family, loves ones, etc. Using deontology in medical ethics proves it is better for both the patient and doctor. It is a system of honesty, and involves putting the patient’s needs before anything. It avoids even considering what the benefits of the action would be, which is selfish in the world of medical

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