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Introduction to Bioethics. Introduction Lesson 1. When was the last time you said, “can we talk about ethics?”. Why? Because the reputation of ethics says it is often regarded as an abstract topic debated in two classes…. Religion and Philosophy.

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introduction to bioethics

Introduction to Bioethics

Introduction

Lesson 1

when was the last time you said can we talk about ethics
When was the last time you said, “can we talk about ethics?”

Why?

  • Because the reputation of ethics says it is often regarded as an abstract topic debated in two classes…. Religion and Philosophy.
    • Many people don’t believe that ethics has any practical value or relevance in everyday life.
what is ethics
What is Ethics?

Ethics is used (in its simplest form) everyday!

  • “What I ought to do today?”
  • “How should I act?”
ethics definition
Ethics Definition
  • At your tables… list 10 characteristics of what you think ethics is!
    • For example:

“Ethics….Seeks to determine what a person should do, or the best course of action, and provides reasons why.”

“Ethics addresses questions.”

ethics definition1
Ethics Definition
  • At your tables… list 10 characteristics of what you think ethics is!
  • Now create a working definition of the term ethics!
    • You may use some or all of the characteristics of ethics that you listed!
history of bioethics
History of Bioethics

Today, ethics is one of the main branches of philosophical study. It is a systematic, formal inquiry into the nature of right and wrong actions. The most common goal of ethics is to discover universal moral rules. In order to achieve this goal, ethicists (philosophers who study and apply ethics) often explore the nature of “the good” for human beings.

The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, which translates to “disposition” or “spirit of the community.” With discoveries from ancient China, ancient India, and ancient Mesopotamia, it is clear that moral codes have existed at least as long as writing itself. But, the first formal ethical theories belong to Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. These ethical theories were the first attempts to establish standards of human conduct based on rational arguments. What set these theories apart from all those that came before, was that each tried to establish standards based on rational arguments, rather than faith, superstition, consensus, or convention. Since the time of the ancient Greek philosophers, ethics has assumed a very important role in philosophical study and many philosophers today still devote their careers to its study.

ethics and morals
Ethics and Morals

Consider these sentences

Jon acted ethically

Jane acted morally

How are the two sentences different?

morals
Morals

Can sometimes be defined as the beliefs and standards of good and bad, right or wrong that people actually do and should follow in a society.

ethics
Ethics

Can be defined systematic study of morality.

In other words….

Ethics is the theory and morality is the practice.

Morality is what people do and believe,

Ethics gives a philosophical account of justified behavior and belief.

moral values
Moral Values

Things that people prize and promote

Values are names for states of affairs that conform to what is ethically right and that further the human good.

sub fields of ethics
Sub-fields of ethics

Metaethics: Clarifies the rational standards and methods for the study of ethics

Normative ethics: develops ethical principles, rules, and ideals that spell out standards of good and bad, right and wrong.

bioethics
Bioethics

Bioethics is normative ethics applied to decision making and public policy in the domains of biology, medicine and health care

strategy for bioethics
Strategy for Bioethics

Bioethics is not about having strong personal convictions on one side or another but having a good grasp of the issues on all sides of a question in order to arrive at a good decision

bioethics strategy steps
Bioethics Strategy Steps

Six Steps can be used

1 identify the ethical problem
1. Identify the ethical problem

What has to be decided

By whom

What ethical problem (s) does this decision seem to raise?

2 assess the factual information available to the decision maker s
2. Assess the factual information available to the decision maker (s)

Of the facts known: which ones are relevant to the ethical problem, and which ones are not relevant?

Example: The fact that a pregnant woman has brown hair is not relevant to the issue of genetic screening, while the fact that she has a history of cystic fibrosis in her family is.

What is not known that should be known before a decision is made.

How reliable is the information we have; and what type of information is it?

3 identify the stakeholders in the decision
3. Identify the “stakeholders” in the decision.

Who will be affected by the decision, and in what ways?

How exactly will they be affected?

Is the harm intended by the decision-maker or is it merely

great philosophers thales
Great Philosophers: Thales

Thales of Miletus 640 BC

1st titled philosopher

Earth was a mass floating on water.

great philosophers socrate s
Great Philosophers: Socrates

Socrates 469- 399 BC

Contemplated the meaning of “self”

Often exposed the errors of men who claimed to have wisdom

Was sent to trial and sentenced to death by poison

great philosophers democritus
Great Philosophers: Democritus

Democritus 460-370 BC

Theorized about “atomism”

Believed a man’s conscience is the only thing that could determine right from wrong

great philosophers plato
Great Philosophers: Plato

Plato 428-347 BC

Student of Socrates

Wrote 26 dialogues on philosophy

Earliest were memoires of Socrates that led up and through his trial

Labeled as one of the most important thinkers of the ancient world

great philosophers aristotle
Great Philosophers: Aristotle

Aristotle 384-322 BC

Student of Plato

Taught Alexander the Great

Was accused of teaching dangerous teachings and was exiled

Believed that supreme good consists of contemplation and action combined, and virtue is the gold between the 2 vices

great philosophers archimedes
Great Philosophers: Archimedes

Archimedes 287-212 BC

Labeled as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time

Set attacking ships on fire with an array of mirrors

Was killed during an invasion by Romans (Roman’s were ordered not to kill the great mind of Archimedes

slide27

Great Ancient Greek Philosophers:

  • Aristotle 384-322 BC
  • Student of Plato
  • Taught Alexander the Great
  • Was accused of teaching dangerous teachings and was exiled
  • Believed that supreme good consists of contemplation and action combined, and virtue is the gold between the 2 vices
  • Thales of Miletus 640 BC
  • 1st titled philosopher
  • Earth was a mass floating on water.
  • Democritus 460-370 BC
  • Theorized about “atomism”
  • Believed a man’s conscience is the only thing that could determine right from wrong

?

  • Plato 428-347 BC
  • Student of Socrates
  • Wrote 26 dialogues on philosophy
  • Earliest were memoires of Socrates that led up and through his trial
  • Labeled as one of the most important thinkers of the ancient world
  • Socrates 469- 399 BC
  • Contemplated the meaning of “self”
  • Often exposed the errors of men who claimed to have wisdom
  • Was sent to trial and sentenced to death by poison
  • Archimedes 287-212 BC
  • Labeled as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time
  • Set attacking ships on fire with an array of mirrors
  • Was killed during an invasion by Romans (Roman’s were ordered not to kill the great mind of Archimedes)
practice activity
Practice Activity

By yourself, identify at least 3 instances you thought ethically. Be able to reason why you think it was an ethical situation.

think about it
Think about it….
  • Pain is one of the most common personal experiences which virtually all humans can have during their lifetime. It is a subjective occurrence which often cannot be easily quantified and compared between individuals since it appears that each individual looks at his or her pain in their own way. Pain may be viewed by the affected individual in the context of the source of the pain, the intensity, the disability and the effect the individual's disability from the pain on others including his or her loved ones and the possibility for resolution of the pain either spontaneously or with help.
pain and religion
Pain and Religion
  • In addition, religious or spiritual interpretations can be given to one's pains and how the individual responds may depend on how the individual looks at and accepts these interpretations.
  • The medical profession in modern and post-modern times, with availability more and more tools or approaches to try to relieve pain, has looked at pain as a symptom needing to be treated by these tools and either substantially relieved or eliminated. Most patients look to their physicians to do just that.
  • And many ethical issues have involved conflicts regarding pain and suffering and pain management. But do all patients find that relief of pain is a good action? And if not, why not?
  • What Does Pain Mean to You? Is Relief of Pain Always a Good Thing?