Theory-laden model of ethical applications and ethics of euthanasia

History and Philosophy of Medicine 4 (26):1-5 (2022)
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The primary aim of this paper is to critically evaluate the deductive model of ethical applications, which is based on normative ethical theories like deontology and consequentialism, and to show why a number of models have failed to furnish appropriate resolutions to practical moral problems. Here, for the deductive model, I want to call it a “Linear Mechanical Model” because the basic assumption of this model is that if a normative theory is sacrosanct, then the case is as it is. The conclusion derived from the case will also be correct, true and acceptable. However, traditional ethicists used to apply their ethical theories, but they did not know which moral theory was effective on the ground level of reality. The study will show readers how ethical theories are in conflict with each other in the case of euthanasia. In more precise words, “which ethical theories are said to be applied, meta-ethical or normative, or both for the resolution of ethical problems? If normative theories are said to be applied, how the application can take place when it is contrary to our experience, that (then) in a situation of moral crises, no one really applies a theory?” For that, my argument is the linear model has failed because it is rigid, often ignores the agents’ intrinsic values, and has no space to amend it, no matter how bizarre the consequence is. Its alternative is the Inductive model. For that, the paper will take three moral principles (autonomy, beneficence including maleficence, and justice) of Beauchamp & Childress. This suggests us for resolving value-laden moral problems, we should consider some steps such as a) recognising moral issues to start with; b) developing the moral imagination; c) sharpening analytical/critical skills; d) testing out disagreements; e) effecting decisions and behavior; and f) implementation, closure, and process are of vital importance, in other words, it starts with the free and informed consensus of all interested parties, but this model also has been failed because the model could not give a systematic organization to their way of resolution. Here, my argument is that the inductive model provides resolution of the practical problem but ignores what is ethically obligatory, permissible, or wrong in that situation, and there are no appropriate suggestions in the case of a moral crisis.

Author's Profile

Shami Ulla Qurieshi
University of Delhi (PhD)


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