THE GOOD, THE BETTER AND THE BEST PRACTICES OF ETHICAL HEALTHCARE: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE
Since the advent of civilization, and the development of science, there has been deliberate actions from the scientific world to discredit and denounce human creation by God and the existence of Christ. Surprisingly, people in the secular world that are engaged in health care often value science and seek scientific support for their unethical behavior and trade it for the Biblical teachings.
This papers aims at delineating the Bible as “an absolute is an immutable, universal truth about reality”. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
The five theories explained in detail with a primary “absolute” for each theory.
Literature and research have indicated five theories on ethics. These are the Utilitarianism, Kant’s Ethics, Ross’s theory, Rawls, and Natural Law Ethics and Moral Theology.
The utilitarianism sees an action as being proper when it produces happiness and wrong when it produces otherwise. Human nature is naturally to engage only in those things that give us joy and happiness. In other words, humans behaves in that will produce the least resistance.
When we cannot derive happiness from it, it can be viewed as wrong. Viewing action as right or wrong depend on who it affects, some action may be right to some people while it may be wrong to others.
Culture and customs may be determinant of wrong or right action. Religion and believes too can makes one see things differently. In a society where polygamy is their custom, marring more than one wife would not see as anything wrong because it part of their culture, whereas to someone who is not part of their culture would look at it as wrong thing to do.
Another way of viewing an action is the cost benefit of an action. The primary “absolute” in this law is that Individual will behave in a manner that maximizes his benefits and will do that that will produce the least pain.
Bentham used calculus of pleasure and pain, in this case numeric number are assigned to pleasure based on duration, intensity and number of people affected, with this only the number with highest result are to be considered.
Act utilitarianism says that an action is only right if there are no other alternative actions that would provide highest utility. All other sources must be used to achieve the highest utility. A typical example is the case where a doctor promises the patient that he would perform a surgery, as long as surgery is done and the result is best to the patient, it does not matter who did the surgery. It is also considered in act utilitarianism view, that as long as grater utility achieve it not necessary that all everyone need to achieve through the same process. Act tends to violate many rules to maximum utility.
Rule utilitarianism on the other hand has the action only is right when confirming to the rule in this case rule to be considered that it would establish maximum utility in any given situation. The use if calculation is not considered in this case. Rule utilitarian is considered to be social utility because everyone must follow the same rule, unlike act utilitarian where promise keeping is important and it can only be broken when the good overweighs the bad. All must follow the same rule, cases are not based on individual. When everyone follows the same rule, maximum utility will be achieved.
It sounds paradoxical because the rule yields greater result when all are under the same rule regardless of the result. An example is the “stop” and “yield” sign when driving.
Kant’s Ethical rule is based on the theory that the consequences of an action are morally irrelevant. The action taken is not based on happiness of others; action is not also view as universal. Kant ethic certain action should not be taken regardless of the consequence whether it would give or happiness or otherwise. Kant’s law of ethics prohibits such actions as murder, lying and stealing. Action taken should be evaluated based on the premise that “do I want everyone to act as I acted” or does my action respect human or is it only to achieve my own goal.2
Deontological moral theory is the example of Kant’s theory whereby action taken has no bases on whether the action is right or wrong.
Ross’s theory view is view that all moral action has consequence and this is not based on result of an action. Ross distinguish between moral and non-moral. Moral has two properties which is right and good,. In this theory has actual duty and Facie duties. Actual duty is someone duty in actual situation and while Facie duty is “at fight sight”.
Natural Law Ethics and Moral Theology: is a moral standard that guide human behavior. The natural law and Moral theory is part of human nature, it does not govern by the society , custom or the law. Roman Catholicism abased their religion on the Natural law. Good deed is a natural law imbedded in human nature. It should come natural to human to do good.
As a Christain doing good should be part and parcel of our being. That us why create us and we should not be weary when going goo. Our believes and our lifes should reveal the nature of God. Bible says Jesus was going around doing good. That is His nature. He was going around
Rawls Law of ethics really focus on the policy and equality of individuals. The theory are based on two principle which state that: each indicidial is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal liberty comparable to equal liberty for all and two, that social and economic inequalities are to be arrange so that they are the greatest benefit to the least advantage.
Absolutes and theories that most correlate to Christian
tradition or biblical references
Both the bible and Jesus Christ are absolute in the ethical theories that govern health care providers. Specifically, the Utilitarianism can be said to be absolute by the services that are provided. Jesus said in Mathew 25:40 “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”. And in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart; not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”, the Bible reminds us about our commitment to give.
Kant’s Ethics: The absolute in Kant’s ethical rule can be found in John 17: 4. In John 17:4, Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day. It is a fact that Jesus lives and will surely come back one day.
Ross’s theory: Ross theory is mainly on how a healthcare provider must adhere to his or her work, and not being partial. The bible passage that encompasses this trait is the Ten Commandments, in Exodus. Exodus 20: 11-18
Rawls law can be absolutely linked to the book of Matthew 12:35, which says, “The good person out of his good treasure bring forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” As a Christian we must make sure we live a true Christian life as children of God.
Natural Law Ethics and Moral Theology
As a Christian we must ensure that we behave like Christ since we are his ambassador on earth. We must know his words and commands so we can relate to the rest of the world. The absolute in this model is in John 6:11 “and Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and live wise of the fishes as much as they would”.
Personal belief system
Utilitarian law of Ethics comes to mind as a personal belief system. It considers the society as a whole and rationalizes what is best. Firstly, they are stewards meaning that the care and well-being of others comes first. The Bible tells us that we must be our brother’s keeper which conceptually means that we are guardians5. The act of taking care of patients, irrespective of the person, will bring great benefit to the society as a whole.
it will mean that they will be performing good deeds. These are meritorious actions rewarded by God.
The sixth Commandment has a much wider implication than often envisaged.14 It asserts a general principle of the sanctity of life, both positively in promoting life and negatively in opposing its destruction.6
1. Munson R, Lague I. Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issue in Bioethics, Tenths Edition. ISBN: 978:1:305-50840-8. Boston MA
2. https://www.csus.edu/indiv/g/gaskilld/ethics/ accessed 07032018
3. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/ Accessed 07032018
5. Saunders J. Doing good medical ethics: A Christian perspective. Journal of Medical Ethics 2015;41:117–120. doi:10.1136/medethics-2014-102369
6. Day A. J. Using the Bible as a Basis for Medical Ethics. Luke’s Journal (CMDF Aus) Feb 2001.