Everyday clinical practice is steeped in ethical considerations, but discussion of ethics is often removed from these real-life situations. Kath M Melia's new book works in the gap between theory and practice. The chapters tackle the main theories which form the discussion on ethics, and include practical case examples, which bring these theories into the clinical context. These classic and everyday cases challenge the reader to critically reflect on his/her own experiences and outlook. The social, legal and professional regulation context is brought into the discussion throughout, to equip students with the knowledge that they need to make clinical decisions. Topics covered include: - Beauchamp and Childress' four principles of bioethics - Rights - Personal and individual conscience - Moral philosophy - The virtues/virtue ethics of the practitioner. This book will be essential reading for pre-registration nursing students taking modules in ethics and law. It will also be a valuable text for postgraduates and qualified nurses, and students of health who need to gain an appreciation of ethics. www.sagepub.co.uk/melia
Chapter 5: Kantian Ethics – Duty-based Theory
Kantian Ethics – Duty-based Theory
Act only on the maxim through which you can at the same time will that it be a universal law.
Immanuel Kant, 1785
Deontological theory is a duty-based theory, so called following the Greek deon, meaning duty. The general idea is that good will come from doing one's duty. The focus is on the intention of doing one's duty rather than the consequences of the action. When we say someone acted with good intentions, or in good faith, we are adopting this kind of approach. In other words, duty-based theory has it that doing good is the thing that settles the question of the rightness or wrongness of an action and not the actual consequences of the ...