Ethical responses to ethical issues

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  • Ethical responses to ethical issues
    • Utilitarianism
      • Abortion
        • Does not believe that human life has absolute value
        • Attempt to assess each individual situation on it's own merits.
        • Only works if you're able to assess the results of an abortion which is difficult as we cannot predict all consequences.
          • Example: the mother may react badly to the operation
        • Preference Utilitarianism: better approach it considers the preferences of the mother or the harm done to other family members.
      • Right to life
        • Would consider the pain/pleasure principle and measure the pain of the unused embroyo to the pleasure of the parents and the baby that was created.
        • Would also consider the chance of success and how this would affect the happiness of the couple, their friends and their family.
        • Doesn't take into account the rights of the embryo as it's not seen as sacred.
        • Is it ethical to spend money on assisting reproduction for a few adding to the popular and contributing to the pain of many.
    • Kantian Ethics
      • Abortion
        • Hard to universalise as there are many different reasons/motivations for wanting to obtain an abortion.
        • Emotions are to be disregarded when making moral decision but we must use them if the mother has been raped/is very young/ carrying a severely disabled foetus.
        • Is a foetus a person? If so we cannot treat them as ends in themselves,
      • Right to life
        • If an embryo is considered a person, one needs to ask whether the destruction of so many embryos is justified to create new life.
        • Selecting an embryo to be a genetic match to cure a sick sibling is treating someone as means to an end.
        • Universalisation
    • Natural Law
      • Abortion
        • Abortion goes against the primary precepts of preservation of life and reproduction.
      • Right to life
        • Problems with IVF
        • Problems with masturbation as it is a misuse of genitalia needed for reproduction.
        • Destruction of embryos goes against the primary precept protection of the innocence.
        • It's absolute so doesn't take different factors into account.
    • Religious Ethics
      • Abortion
        • Sanctity of life- the idea that life is sacred and worthy of respect and is intrinsically worthwhile.
        • Pro-life: God is the giver and creator of life and people have no right to destroy what life has given. People are created in the image of God.
        • Some Christians will allow abortion if continuing to carry the baby will threaten a mothers' needs or physical/emotional health.
        • Protestant church: accepts AIH but disallows AIF.


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