Lying to Patients and Ethical Relativism

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I. Lying to Patients and Ethical Relativism
Ethical Relativism and Ethical Subjectivism
Ethical Relativism - theory that holds that morality is relative to the norms of one's culture.
*
a culture. i.e.: nobody should ever steal)
Objective vs. Subjective (Telling right from wrong)
Paternalism vs. Autonomy
Paternalism – authority of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those lower than them

Autonomy is a binomial
1) Enlightenment ethics – celebration of the individual’s reason, free will, self seat of values, 2) Politics – celebrating of the individual’s ability to know what is best for the government, religion, or public opinion. Medical field turns from med paternalism to self-ruling autonomy

Just because majority does something does not make it morally right.
Ethical subjectivism – a person’s feelings towards a situation, nothing is really right or wrong (truths differ from person to person)
A situation has to be rational in order to be justified.
Impartiality and Moral Reasoning
* Contrasting Ideas
* Subjectivism is weaker than a justified reason.
Good reasons for a position
Appealing to feelings with observance
Impartial reasoning = objective reasoning
Certain roles should be objective
Kant on Lying
It is never right to lie to a person.
Kant worked to make universal laws of ethics
Kant’s theories
To think + to reflect = to reason
Morality is universal
Morality is absolute and unchanging
Act accordingly only to what the law states is right.
Kantian ethics: the requirement of universalizability
Wrote moralities as being “imperatives” or commands that must be followed
Universalizability – to make an unjustified exception, influencing others to do the same.
Hypothetical imperative - moral command that is conditional on personal motive or desire. (want)
Categorical imperative - An unconditional moral obligation. (must)
Rationality and morality go hand-in-hand...
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