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How Bioethical Standpoints Influence Biomedical Decisions EXAMPLES.

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Presentation on theme: "How Bioethical Standpoints Influence Biomedical Decisions EXAMPLES."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Bioethical Standpoints Influence Biomedical Decisions EXAMPLES

2 Because of “god” (pure actuality), all of reality is goal-directed People are goal-directed to tell the truth (just look at the virtuous person), so one ought to tell the truth I tell the truth in this situation GROUNDED IN Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics

3 Another Way to Visualize This (Top-Down)…

4 God, who is Love, graciously creates and sustains reality One ought to love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself I give to charity GROUNDED IN Aquinas’ Christian Ethics

5 Aquinas’ General Characterization of Natural Morality

6 Also the view of John Locke and the US Founding Fathers

7 I’m an existential nihilist, life is mine, there is nothing else… One ought to end the pain, if it becomes unbearable I knowingly and willingly commit suicide GROUNDED IN Existential Nihilism

8 I’m a religious terrorist, there is always collateral damage in a war, my reward will be great in heaven… One ought to die, if necessary, to further the cause, ideology… I knowingly and willingly commit suicide GROUNDED IN Religious Terrorism

9 I’m a neuroscientist, mind/soul with moral claims comes to be only with a complex nervous system… If the technology is there, one should use it for research, the good I harvest human embryonic stem cells for research GROUNDED IN Neuroscience

10 I’m a pantheistic Hindu, all of reality is one, sacred, and imbued with autonomy and respect… One ought never to harm a living being, especially one that is sentient I would never eat a cow or use it in experiments GROUNDED IN Pantheistic Hinduism

11 I’m a standard monotheist, God has created us in His Image (we’re most important); we are to “subdue” animals… One ought to use animals for human benefits (if we must…) I would eat a cow and use it in experiments GROUNDED IN Standard Monotheism

12 I’m a Christian Scientist, all that really exists are souls and God; bodies and other matter are mere illusions… One ought to trust in God’s love and not “thwart” God’s intervention No one will operate on my child’s throat cancer GROUNDED IN Christian Science

13 Another Way to Visualize This (Top-Down)… GROUNDED IN

14 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: CATHOLIC POSITION

15 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: (A POSSIBLE) UTILITARIAN POSITION

16 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: (ANOTHER POSSIBLE) UTILITARIAN POSITION

17 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: (A POSSIBLE) DEONTOLOGICAL POSITION

18 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: (ANOTHER POSSIBLE) DEONTOLOGICAL POSITION

19 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: (A POSSIBLE) VIRTUE ETHICS POSITION

20 TERRI SCHIAVO CASE: CHRISTIAN VIRTUE ETHICS POSITION

21 Thank You Robert Arp, Ph.D. Ontology Research Group (ORG) National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Roadmap for Biomedical Research, Grant 1 U 54 HG Information on the National Centers for Biomedical Computing can be found at:


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