According to Michael Boylan’s book Basic Ethics the study of ethics concerns itself with “right” and “wrong, judgments that assign praise or blame. In the case of ethics, these judgments are usually assigned to people or to actions (Boylan, 2009). This essay will discuss three major ethical theories, virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and deontological ethics. It will also provide a personal experience to help explain the relationship between virtue, values, and moral concepts as it relates to utilitarianism. The three ethics theories discussed herein are the virtue ethics theory that examines a person’s character over a long period of time and is forgiving of an occasional mistake that is not consistent with a person’s past character. Deontological ethics or duty-based morality is a theory based on a “nonconsequentialist” view of people and moral decision-making. Deontological ethics supports that actions are not justified by their consequences. Rather, factors other than good outcomes determine the “rightness” of actions (Deontological Ethics, 2014).
My family and I did not like his wish but it is what he chose for himself and we all accepted his final wish. Although many feel this is not right to just let someone die without trying to help the person dying the attitude on these decisions is purely determined by the person dying. The utilitarian approach can be selfish in nature because the judgments is strictly that of the person thinking of his own truth in my Fathers case his last dying wish. So depending on what kind of person you are, how you were raised, the environment you live in, your faith, the influences you may have from the social circle you belong to you all these factors could influence your ethics and depending on the situation on hand you may find yourself moving towards one or the other of these ethic theories. Morally or ethically, I would never let my Dad die without making some attempt to resuscitate him but on the other hand I set aside my moral belief and my ethics to allow my Dad his last and final wish.
Boylan, M. (2009). Basic Ethics (2nd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Deontological Ethics. (2014, February 17). Retrieved from allaboutphilosophy .org: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/deontological-ethics.htm What Is Utilitarianism? (2014, February 17). Retrieved from wisegeek.org: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-utilitarianism.htm