The theory was formulated by Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). The word comes from the words, “deon” or “duty” therefore, the reasoning behind the word deontology is on the idea that as human beings, we have the duty to do certain things and avoid others (Hugh, 2000, p. 6). This theory does not look at how much good might be realized from a certain action but rather it looks at the actions of the individual.
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The principle of this theory of ethics has been adopted in various ways to achieve a common goal. For instance, beneficence principles help or guide one to do what is good. Respect of autonomy principles helps in reaching a consensus and allowing people to make decisions that are important to their lives (Catherine, 2002, p. 5).
Justice principles endeavor to ensure fairness in our actions, while least harm principles help in making choices that are geared at causing least harm to many. Therefore, they help in reaching a common goal.
The theory dictates that individuals need at all time exhibit behaviors or actions that can become a universal rule. Individuals should also act in such a way that they treat humanity both in their own person and in that of another, usually as an end and not as a means (Hugh, 2000, p. 7). Furthermore, morality of individuals is judged based on nature of their actions and will, not on goals attained. This is because we cannot control our future despite of the best efforts we put in.
Therefore, we are usually blamed because of the actions that are within us, our will, but not our achievement. Individuals should always do unto others as they would have them done unto them. The theory emphasizes on respect of persons and should be treated with the respect that they deserve. Therefore, individual human rights should be acknowledged and should not be violated.
In my nursing practice, this theory has been of great importance. I have used the theory as my guideline in respecting the desires of my patients. For instance, I have respected their wish not to disclose their confidential information to third parties.
Virtue theory is an ethics theory which deemphasizes rules, or consequences but it focus on the person that is involved in an act (Catherine, 2002, p. 8). It does not deemphasize on whether the act is right, abiding rules, and good consequences of our actions. The most important thing is whether the individual acting is expressing good character-moral virtues or not. As the person character is the totality of the individual character traits.
Utilitarianism theory is associated with the British philosopher by the name John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), who developed it. The theory holds that individuals’ actions are right if only they promote good to majority. The theory, therefore, agitates for the respect of every person through our actions. The critics of the theory question the extent on how the good of the majority goes.
Another ethical theory is the casuist theory. This theory is used in comparing the present ethical problems with the past examples and outcomes of similar ethical problems that was experienced. This, therefore, helps in the determination of severity of a given situation and helps in creating of best solutions in relation to another person’s experiences.
Does justice require universal access to health care?
For justice to be realized there is need for universal health care. Universal access to healthcare as embodied in the health systems of developed countries is aimed at securing an equal access to the healthcare. There have been various disagreements pertaining to the accessibility of health care (Jim, 2009, para. 23). Some people view health care as social good and like any other commodity that needs to be purchased. The healthcare should be made accessible to its entire people.
In most circumstances, those people that are not able to access good healthcare services do not have the money to pay for their health, while those who have the resources can afford good healthcare services. This inequality has created disparities and contributed to injustices. Heath care should be rolled out in order to be accessible by every person in need. Health care is important in fostering justice to the whole society. Therefore, I do agree that justice requires a universal access to health care.
Catherine, R. (2002). Descriptions of ethical theories and principle. Web.
Hugh, L. (2000). The Blackwell guide to ethical theory. New York: John Wiley & Sons ltd, Inc.
Jim, N. (2009). Does justice require universal access to health care? Web.