Two classmates responses 125 words each with references.
One: Normative ethics addresses what kind of acts are right or wrong by examining the norms by which people make moral choices. Consequentialism and Deontology are two critical theories that are often used to apply normative ethics to healthcare decisions. Consequentialism considers the consequences of actions to identify which choice is likely to yield the most “good” and least “bad”. (Morrison and Furlong, 2019) Deontology emphasizes that individual acts are inherently right or wrong, independent of the outcome and asks what one ‘ought’ to do concerning duty or obligation. The consequentialist theory could be used to justify overriding a patient’s decision to refuse treatment if it is believed that this will result in the best overall outcome.
From the perspective of a physician who is responsible for the management and delivery of a patients’ care, they operate from the foundations of beneficence and nonmaleficence. Ultimately, the physician cannot move forward with any treatment plan at the end of the day unless the patient agrees to do so. (Welie, et al., 2014) With that being said, Kant’s ethical principle of moral autonomy refers to the capacity of rational agents to legislate for themselves – the moral law. The capacity for autonomy is the basis of the dignity of humans and of every rational being. When it comes to theories that support making a treatment decision for a patient, even when they do not want treatment, moral autonomy is one of them. Competent patients have the right to refuse medical treatment. The right to refuse medical treatment by a competent person is supported by United States laws and by the ethical principle of autonomy. This is even the case when the treatment is likely to save or prolong the patient’s life. (Radley & Payne, 2009)