Today's health care providers are continually innovating the way health care services are provided, thanks to such things as increased education and technological advancement. But on the other hand there are some challenges, new and old, they must face. Probably the most notable of challenges in health care industry is ethics. Provides often must ask them selves, what is morally right? What would be the responsible course of action? The importance of ethics far transcends just the world of health care it is probably one of the oldest challenges of all time. Ethical theories help those facing ethical decisions make the most informed decision. One of the most challenged ethical theories, deontology, is also one that is widely utilized in the world of health care and medicine. But what is the concept deontology? What is its significance to health care? And why is it so widely criticized? Webster's defines deontology as the study of moral obligation, but it's much more than that. Deontological moral theory is a non-consequentialist moral theory. While consequentialist believe the ends always justify the means, deontologist assert that the rightness of an action is not simply dependent on maximizing the good if that action goes again what is considered to be moral (Kinder 3). "It is the inherent nature of the act alone that determines its ethical standing" (Legal Theory Lexicon, 3). Deontologists generate restrictions against maximizing the good when it interferes with moral standards. In addition, high value is placed on the individual, rather then the societal whole, so in some instances it is permissible not to maximize the good when it is detrimental to you (Wikipedia, 2). Deontology is a generally flexible moral theory that allows for self-interpretation, which may be the reason it is so widely practiced in the health field. Imagine a situation where there are four critical condition patients in a hospital who each need a different organ in order to survive,...
Cited: Shi, Leiyu and Singh, Douglas A. (2004). Delivering Health Care in America: A
Systems Approach, 3rd edition
24, 2006 from http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/7/00.07.04.x.html
on September 24, 2006 from http://legaltheorylexicon.blogspot.com/2003/11/legal-theory-lexicon-010.html
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