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Jeremy Bentham's Conception Of Morality

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It wasn’t until the late 18th and 19th centuries that new ideas in ethics emerged. During this era, Jeremy Bentham changed the landscape of how ethics was viewed with his powerful argument for a novel conception of morality. In the conception, Bentham argued that morality is not about pleasing God, or about being faithful to a set of rules. Rather he argued that morality is about making the world as happy as possible. This interpretation is best described by what we now know as the Principle of Utility, which requires us to produce the most happiness and the least unhappiness that we can. This new way of thinking broadened the horizons in the field of ethics, with the application of principles finding their way into the health care delivery …show more content…

Soon the principle of autonomy gained primacy over paternalistic practices. The principle of autonomy gave patients the right to make decisions on their own behalf. This shifted power and control from physicians to patients, allowing them to refuse treatment and do things that might not be in their best interest. This brings up the debate of resuscitation. Autonomic practices obligate physicians to honor patients’ preferences, including their desire not to be resuscitated. This ethical dilemma often crosses paths with the principle of beneficence. This principle states that we should act in ways that promote the welfare of other people. However, in the event of no resuscitation, a physician is unable to help other people when given the …show more content…

Abortion is another good example of how ethics has progressed through time. Ethics in health care developed under the dominant moral tradition of Christianity. In Christianity, human life is seen as a gift from God, and God is the only one who should decide when to end it. The early Church held firmly to the belief that the intentional killing of innocent human beings is always wrong. Thus, abortion 150 years ago was viewed as heinous. Contradictory, today abortion is now legal in all U.S. states. In similar light is the bioethical topic of euthanasia. One of the oldest and memorable cases of euthanasia occurred through the passing of Sigmund Freud. When Freud was 83 and dying of oral cancer, he requested that his friend and personal physician, Max Schur, to inject him with a drug in order to peacefully end his life. Although this was a noble gesture, it was considered morally wrong during that time. However, utilitarianistic positions are starting to creep into the scene today with up to 6 states adopting euthanasia practice

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