Chapter 14. Applications: Biomedical Ethics
Section 1. What is this?

This part of the text deals with applying ethical principles to particular situations.  How does one go about thinking ethically about things that matter a good deal to us?

At the beginning of this text the three levels of abstraction in ethics were presented.   We saw that there are "theories" which are the most abstract sort of ethical reflection, ethical "principles", which are general ethical rules of behavior, and ethical "judgments", which are particular determinations about how to act in particular circumstances.

Dealing with situations that arise in our personal individual lives and in our social lives and our involvement with society itself often involves moral concerns.  To think about such matters in an ethical manner will involve a consideration of the principles of ethics as they relate to whatever the situation is.

In this portion of the text we will look at ethics as it appears and is applied to four areas:

The principles of ethics have been and are being thoroughly explored and applied in these areas.  Within Philosophy doing so has become known as Applied Ethics.  There are organizations, journals, courses and texts in such sub fields of Applied Ethics as :

There are people whose sole occupation is to think about moral dilemmas that arise in these areas.  There are institutions, societies that are so dedicated as well.

In this and the next three chapters a very brief overview of some issues and problems in four of these areas will be presented along with several readings for the reader to reflect upon and to formulate an ethical response.

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Copyright Stephen O Sullivan and Philip A. Pecorino  2002. All Rights reserved.

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