Deontology

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Deontology is derived from the Greek word meaning duty. An action is considered morally right when it is a part of a person’s duties or requirements. As long as a person is following the duties, they are considered to be performing morally. Typically, this list of duties or rules are created by God in a deontological system. By acting with morals a person is obeying God’s list of duties. Christopher Bennet writes that, “Deontology, such as Kant’s ethics, there are certain types of act, such as rape, murder, theft and assault that are always wrong” (Bennet, 2010, p. 33). For example, if it is morally wrong to kill, killing is then always wrong, even if that means allowing a person to suffer. Kant believes that a person will come to know what is right and wrong by rational thought. Deontology is the most common moral theory that is widely practiced in the world, especially within healthcare. The negative side of a deontological system is that it doesn’t allow resolution between two contradictory moral duties. Looking at the example above, it is morally wrong to kill, but it is also a moral duty to not allow someone to suffer. The theory of deontology concentrates on the appropriateness of the act versus the results of the act (Powers, 2005, pp. 496-499). Because of this, the correct action may or may not be enjoyable for the agent. Also, others may or may not approve of it and it may create pleasure, riches, or pain. Consequentialist believes that the end justifies the means, yet the deontology says that doing something right is not always good if it is going against what is deemed as moral. Let’s relate this to a hospital situation: three critically ill patients are in ICU and they all need organs to survive. A healthy young man c... ... middle of paper ... ...rt instead of your head. I believe that most people want to live morally, but circumstances doesn’t always allow it. Telling a “white lie” to your children doesn’t put them or yourself in harm. A mother stealing food to feed her starving babies, probably doesn’t want to be immoral but feels she doesn’t have a choice not to. Nothing is ever black and white. People are not born to be moral, it is the parent’s responsibility to teach children from an early age morals. If a person is not taught morals, is it the person’s fault or the parents? Would Kant say that it is the parent’s moral obligation or duty to teach that child morals? Works Cited Bennet, C. (2010). What is This Thing Called Ethics? New York, NY: Routledge. Powers, T. M. (2005). Deontology. In E. C. Mitcham, Encylopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics (pp. 496-499). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

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