Ethical and Legal Aspects of Healthcare |
Law and Ethics
Unit 1 Individual Project |
Duty-oriented reasoning, otherwise known as deontology, deals with Immanuel Kant’s influential moral theory regarding what a person is obligated to do (Rosenstand, 2003). The reasoning behind deontology is the intention, and is based on universal principles that guide actions (Fremgen, 2009; Rosenstand, 2003). Duty-oriented reasoning concludes that the consequences of the action are not as important as the principle moral law that dictates the action; that the presence of one’s duty is the determining factor as to an action’s morality (Kant, 1785). For example, a person has a moral obligation to be honest, even if that honesty has negative outcomes. To lie, even to save one’s life, would be morally objectionable because there is a duty to be honest.
Duty-oriented theory states that the basic "rightness" or "wrongness" of an act depends
on "principle" rather than on the situation or the consequences. Duty-oriented theory promotes
the good, but it is not the only driving force. Duty-oriented theory is all about correct principle
regardless of results. When I have made decisions in the past, I see that "principle" is important to me, especially principles of personal boundaries, truth, and fairness.
As applied to the scenario above, it is important to determine the moral obligation. As a paramedic, the implied duties and obligations are to aid those in need. The primary duty is balanced by both parties in the above scenario and does not further the decision process. A second obligation is a sociopolitical obligation to protect the most vulnerable of society.
Given the exigency of the situation, it is reasonable to prioritize. In this scenario, the greater duty would be to protect the innocent and vulnerable: to save the lives of the children. Children are...