The Medicine Of Ethical Care Essay

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Law - Constitutional Law Type: Essay Paper: #37784328 Related Topics: Categorical Imperative, Selfishness, Placebo, Lie
Excerpt from Essay :

Kantian Ethics in Medicine

There is little doubt that the nurse did not do the right thing in reassuring the mother about her baby that slept through feeding time. What the nurse did was withhold valuable information about the health and livelihood of that newborn. The mother has a right to such information, and she has a right to it immediately. She should not have to take legal action or go through some form of documentation to ascertain these facts. Instead, she should be able to simply get that information by asking the nurse who is aware of the baby's lapse in breathing. From this perspective, the nurse is not fulfilling her job because she is not imparting this valued information to the person who needs to know this information more than anyone in the world: the mother of the child. Ergo, the nurse did not do the correct thing in withholding this information. Moreover, what the nurse actually did was lie to the mother, which reinforces the fact that the nurse did the wrong thing in this situation. The nurse is not being paid to lie to the mother. She is being paid to treat the baby as needed and to convey the status of that treatment -- upon request...


Kantian ethics is partially predicated on the notion of the categorical imperative, in which there are some actions that hold intrinsic value in relation to ethics. Some things are simply ethical, whereas other things are not ethical. Lying is an example of behavior that is categorically unethical, regardless of the circumstances or of the intention of the liar. Similarly, there are some actions that are categorically ethical, such as following the golden rule and doing unto others as one wants done unto oneself. Thus, there is no way that Kant himself or adherents to Kantian ethics would condone the actions of the nurse. She was deliberately deceitful about the health of baby T. Furthermore, she was deliberately deceitful to the one person in the world who has the most vested interest in the health of the newborn (other than the newborn) -- the baby's mother. A utilitarian perspective, however, would have likely condoned the nurse's lies. This philosophy is predicated on deeming an action ethical if…

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CSUS. (2016). Kantian ethics. / Retrieved from

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