John Stuart Mill’s Theory of Utilitarianism

1336 Words Feb 17th, 2018 5 Pages
She is under the care of a doctor named Tom. Tom knows that Mary is going to die shortly and knows of three other patients in the hospital that could benefit immensely from one of Mary’s organs. Mary, who is an organ donor, does not want to give up her organs. However, Tom knows that Mary’s organs are beginning to fail and decides to take them without her permission and give them to the other patients in need. In this essay, I will explain how the case of Dr. Tom and his patient, Mary, can be examined morally using John Stuart Mill’s theory of Utilitarianism and the Greatest Happiness Principle (GHP) and Immanuel Kant’s Deontology and his Formula of Universal Law (FUL). I will also explain why Kantian Deontology works better as a moral theory in the case of Tom and Mary.
In John Stuart Mill’s, “Utilitarianism,” Mill describes his theory as, “… not something to be contradistinguished from pleasure, but pleasure itself, together with the exemption of pain (2001, p. 9).” What Mill is describing can be referred to as classical utilitarianism. There are three components that comprise this theory: consequentialism, hedonism, and impartiality. Consequentialism is the idea that only the consequences of an action matter. The second component, hedonism, states that the only standard for judging an action as moral or immoral is whether the action produced happiness or pain, respectively. The last component of classical…
Open Document