Introduction to Principles and Moral Theory

I’m studying for my Management class and need an explanation.

Health care administrators are tasked with making difficult decisions that often have an important ethical impact on patient care (resource allocation and prioritization, staff hiring, policymaking, compliance with regulations, quality improvement, etc.). As the Morrison and Furlong text observes, the theory that underpins health care ethics is important for justifying these decisions. Good ethical decision- making, after all, is not about having an opinion but, instead, about making an informed decision amongst a variety of potentially equally valid options by using your knowledge of theory to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each option. This week will help you build an ethics toolbox of theories, codes, and decision-making tools that you can use in your role as health care administrator to inform and defend the important decisions you will make related to patient care.

Initial Post:

In no more than 500 words, describe an ethical conflict that you have encountered in the health care arena. Good facts make good ethics, so make sure you provide a clear-but-brief fact statement of the nature of the ethical conflict and the stakeholders/parties involved. Then, pick one of the following three theories (principle of double effect, deontology, consequentialism) and apply it to your ethical scenario.

In applying your chosen theory to your scenario, briefly answer each of the following questions:

  1. Describe the ethical conflict.
  2. Briefly define/describe your chosen ethical theory.
  3. How does your chosen theory apply to the facts?
  4. What is the ultimate outcome or resolution that your analysis leads you to? In other words, what does the theory tell you to do in your fact scenario?

The following example of the four principles has been provided to give you an example of the level of depth I expect in an ethical analysis. You are not to use the four principles in your analysis; this is only provided to you as an example of a good and thorough analysis that applies a theory.

Reply:

In no more than 150 words, respond thoughtfully to at least one post by a classmate who has applied a different theory than you. In your post, raise issues that you think are important considerations that the classmate did not consider, share your insight if you have had a similar situation arise, or emphasize why you think the analysis would lead to a different result under the same theory.


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