The Between Utilitarianism And Consequentialism Essay

The Between Utilitarianism And Consequentialism Essay

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In contrast to utilitarianism, deontology uses an action and the intent behind the action to determine the morality of the action rather than the outcomes of the actions. Deontology argues that reason forms the basis of right and wrong. Therefore, using reason, Kant asserts that there are two types of obligations. These two types of obligations are hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives. Hypothetical imperatives essentially give instructions based on a person’s individual preference and vary for each situation, Categorical imperatives, unlike hypothetical imperatives, give commands/instructions that are to be applied regardless of personal preferences. One major categorical imperative states that an action is permissible if both the action and the intent behind the action can be applied universally, and the world would continue to conform to reason. According to Immanuel Kant, an immoral action is one that “as soon as it should be made a universal law, [it] would necessarily destroy itself” (Marino 200). Another major categorical imperative states that humans must always be treated as an end in themselves and should never be used as a means to accomplish a goal because each human is an autonomous agent whose autonomy must never be abused. Some of the strengths of deontology includes its ability to incorporate motives and providing a clear structure of evaluation using obligations. Unfortunately, deontology also has weaknesses due to its inability to consider the outcomes and to manager competing obligations.
If the hospital case were examined through a purely deontological perspective, then only the action itself and the intent behind the action can be considered. The outcomes and consequences of the actions will hav...


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...ked to decide between [moral obligation] when their demands are incompatible” (Marino 248) since it would simply measure which obligation provides the greatest happiness. Additionally, there are no other considerations that would change the morality of the action using deontology because the action inherently violates human autonomy and duties, which make up the core of deontology. The only plausible way to change the morality would be to have the patients willingly give up their autonomy and allow the hospital to commence the treatments because this would prevent the hospital from breaking the categorical imperatives. In conclusion, regardless of these weakness and the hypothetical considerations, the action would ultimately be considered immoral by both of the categorical imperatives, and, thus, the hospital should not proceed with the potential cancer treatments.

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