Ethics And The Ethical Dilemmas Within The Sciences, Specicifcally Dealing With Biology ( Cotler )

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Everyday, people are forced to make a multitude of decisions. The basis of that person’s decisions stems from the set of principles or beliefs that they have. When someone is deciding between what is right and what is wrong, these core beliefs are exactly what shapes someone’s decision making process, and this is ethics; the moral principles on behavior that deal with what is good and what is bad. A more specific type of ethics is bioethics, which is the study of ethical dilemmas within the sciences, specicifcally dealing with biology (Cotler). Within bioethics, there are four main principles that help to guide and decide what is right and wrong. These four principles are autonomy, nonmaleifience, beneficence, and justice. Autonomy deals with self rule and the ability of a person to make their own voluntary decisions with an understanding behind the decision they are making. Nonmaleficence means to do no harm, or specifically causing no harm to a person through any act of commission, the production or addition of something, or omission, the taking out or failure to do something. Benefiencence in simple terms means to do good and says it is a person’s job to bring benefits that in turn take away harm or the possibility of it. Finally, justice is a form of fairness, or a balance of both burdens and benefits (McCormick). These four principles contribute greatly in daily ethical issues, but they especially contribute to many issues within health practice. One issue in health care that these principles can be applied to is abortion. Abortion is known to e a hot topic in health care debates, and there are many different views, opinions, and ideas on when and whether abortion is okay. The principles of bioethics ... ... middle of paper ... ...e mother and terminate this pregnancy”? Sometimes doing good or not doing harm are not as cut and dry as they may seem to be. However, there is also a place for more middle ground issues to come up in the debate of beneficence and malifence. For example, let’s say a mother finds out her child will be born with down syndrome in week 10 of her pregnancy. In that scenario, is it doing good to not bring that child in the world? Some would argue yes, due to the pressure to have normal kids and the challanges people with down syndrome face in society(Jotkowitz). While others would argue that people with down syndrome are capable of being functioning members in society and therefore life should not be taken from them. As it can be seen, beneficence and maleficence are not just as simple as doing good and not doing bad, but instead it is very situational and circumstantial.

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