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PHI 413 Discussion: The Four Principles in the Context of Bioethics

PHI 413 Discussion The Four Principles in the Context of Bioethics

Topic 3 DQ 1

The four principles, especially in the context of bioethics in the United States, has often been critiqued for raising the principle of autonomy to the highest place, such that it trumps all other principles or values. How would you rank the importance of each of the four principles? How do you believe they would be ordered in the context of the Christian biblical narrative? Refer to the topic Resources in your response.

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Some Tips for our Discussions:

As you all are thinking about topics to bring up on the discussion board, I thought I might offer some tips to deepen the discussions.

  1. If you are responding to a post where someone provides an interesting concept, try to brainstorm a case study that might be relevant to that concept. For example, your texts brings up the situation of surrogate motherhood while discussing the principle of autonomy. There are many case studies related to surrogate motherhood that challenge the principle of autonomy.
  2. While thinking about case studies, you might also search youtube for appropriate videos that are relevant to our discussions. If you find a relevant video, post it in the discussion thread and ask a thought-provoking question to continue the discussion. If you do this, it will count as a substantive post.
  3. Quote something from one of our readings that you either agree or disagree with. After providing the quote, explain your agreement/disagreement and ask a thought-provoking question to continue the discussion. If you do this, it will count as a substantive post.

Overall, I’m still happy with what I’m seeking on the discussion board. Keep up the great work!

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The four principles, especially in the context of bioethics in the United States, has often been critiqued for raising the principle of autonomy to the highest place, such that it trumps all other principles or values. How would you rank the importance of each of the four principles? How do you believe they would be ordered in the context of the Christian biblical narrative? Refer to the topic Resources in your response.

I would rank the four principles in this order: Nonmaleficence, respect for autonomy, beneficence, then justice. The reason why I would rank the principles in this order is because I feel like doing no harm of others should be first. Following respecting a persons wishes/wants, then preventing harm to others. Lastly, justice as the fourth in line as last principle. Although principles are prima facie binding, this means that the principles or duties must be fulfilled unless they conflict on a particular occasion with an equal or stronger principle, obligation, or duty (Hoehner, 2020).

I believe that this order is in the context of the Christian biblical narrative as followed: beneficence, respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, then justice. I think it would be ordered this way since in the Bible, us as humans are to protect/prevent others from harm others so that is why beneficence would be first. Autonomy should be next since humans are creation of God and we were given morals and the ability to respect others. Then nonmaleficence as humans are to not cause harm to others. Justice as last again due to it meaning providing fairness and being impartial to others.

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References:

Hoehner, P. J. (2020). Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative. Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in Health Care. Retrieved  from https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/3

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Hi

I appreciate your viewpoint. I think that above them in the ranking is the respect for anatomy this is because respect for other people

PHI 413 Discussion The Four Principles in the Context of Bioethics

PHI 413 Discussion The Four Principles in the Context of Bioethics

is vital and should be observed regardless of the situation. Except the individual is not mentally capable of making decisions.

The second is Beneficence where harm is prevented and all that is done is for the benefit of other people the third is non-maleficence where people are obligated not to harm other people and finally justice. Here fair distribution is necessary for all people whether in terms of benefits, risks, or costs. However, I think that the ranking of these principles depends on the situation at hand. For example, I could say, Beneficence in this scenario is first because I would be performing the principle of positive beneficence by acting to help the person that collapsed, before even asking them for their permission if it’s ok to help them (Lawrence, 2007).

 

Reference

Lawrence, D. J. (2007). The Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics: A Foundation for Current Bioethical Debate. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 14(34-30). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1556-3499(13)60161-8

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Sandra,

It was difficult for me to rank these four concepts from most to least important. Though I do feel like Respect for Autonomy could be considered most important in some or most medical situations. When a patient is able to think for themselves and consent to procedures, medications and treatment, we must respect what they decide regarding their care. There are some instances where a patient may not be able to male autonomous decisions. These instances may be patients who are mentally immature, incapacitated, coerced, or those exploited patients (Hoehner, 2020). Another example would be infants, irrationally suicidal individuals, or drug-dependent patients as they would not fully understand the importance of treatments and procedures (Hoehner, 2020). We would treat these patients in a manner that would be of beneficence and non-maleficence, and try to treat them to the best of our abilities while still upholding moral respect.

 

References:

 

Hoehner, P. (2020). Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative. Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. Grand Canyon University. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/3

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Hello Devin,

Good post. Though there is disagreement and diversity about whether or not principalism is the best theory and method of addressing bioethical questions, these four pricniples and this methodology have become foundational for bioethical reflection. One common misunderstanding about these principles, and most other bioethical methodologies or theories, is that they can stand on their own and comprise a neutral or secular system of solving ethical issues. However, this is a serious misunderstanding. Though these principles describe well much of the current cultural consciousness about right and wrong and so describe what Beauchamp and Childress call the “common morality” that all human beings ought to hold to, they do not have enough moral or concrete content on their own apart from prior assumptions and worldview considerations (Abdelzaher et al., 2019).

References

Abdelzaher, D. M., Kotb, A., & Helfaya, A. (2019). Eco-Islam: Beyond the principles of why and what, and into the principles of how. Journal of Business Ethics155(3), 623-643.

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Biomedical ethics are important in health care to improve the quality of care for patients. Bioethics are centered on four ethical principles which are;

Respect for autonomy – is an ethical principle where the patient has the ability to decide for oneself and is free to

make their own decisions.

Beneficence – is the ethical principle of preventing harm, doing good and provides benefits.

Non maleficence – is the ethical principle of refraining from causing harm or preventing the occurrence of intentional harm .

Justice – is the ethical principle that requires fairness and honesty.

Several contributors echo widespread claims that respect for autonomy is given too much weight either at the expense of beneficence, non maleficence and justice (Gillon, 2015). I believe that the principle of respect for autonomy have been overrated and health care providers can no longer take strong decisions to save lives. Despite the principle of autonomy being raised above all the principles in bioethics, I believe that the principle of beneficence should be given priority value, followed by non maleficence because of its similarity to beneficence in preventing harm and doing good to patients. Thirdly, I would acknowledge the principle of justice as all patients have equal rights to fair treatment, then lastly, respect for autonomy.

The Christian worldview provides a comprehensive basis for holding together three aspects of ethical reflection: the character of God , motive and character of Christian living , and the goal of Christian living (Hoehner,2020). Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10, New International Version). Basing on this scripture, I believe that the order of the bio ethical principles should start by beneficence, followed by non maleficence, as both principles aim towards saving life and doing good which are the bases of christian values. Third should be respect for autonomy as God has given man power to make decisions according to Deuteronomy 30:19, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”. (New International Version). Lastly should be the principle of justice, which gives every person the right to fair treatment. It is sometimes difficult to maintain this order of Christian perspective as the principles may be interchanged to suit different scenarios.

References:

Deutronomy 30:19. New International Version. www.biblegateway.com

 

John 10:10. New International Version. www.biblegateway.com

 

Gillon,R. Defending the four principles approach as a good basis for a good medical practice and therefore good medical ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics. (2015). 41(1). jme.bmj/content/41/1/111.info

 

Hoehner, P. J. (2020). Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative. Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in Health Care. Retrieved  from https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/3

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