Essay Example on Social values tend to reflect the morality of a Society








Social values tend to reflect the morality of a society and this in turn manifests itself in Law as the law it regulates public order and human relationships There are several approaches in resolving ethical dilemmas Outcome based utilitarian approaches which decide whether actions are morally justifiable depending on the outcome rule based deontological approaches which states that certain moral rules must be followed regardless of circumstance character based virtue approaches which focuses on developing good character and principlism which focuses on the moral principles of autonomy beneficence no maleficence and justice in making ethical decisions In Re C Justice Thorpe stated that when considering capacity the question to be decided is whether it has been established that C s capacity is so reduced by his chronic mental illness that he does not sufficiently understand the nature purpose and effects of the proffered amputation The courts were presented with the ethical dilemma of having to determine if individuals diagnosed with mentally illnesses had the capacity to make medical decisions for themselves even if their decision may result in their death and whether the court's decision would be morally justifiable Although under principlism the idea of Non maleficence and Beneficence appear to support a utilitarian approach it can be argued that not acting is not causing harm and autonomy is more important than beneficence when the patient does not believe they will benefit from the action

This could be argued by C against hospital The ethical approach likely to be employed by the hospital to be able to treat C is a utilitarian approach because without the amputation they believe that C will die and the theory holds the view that an action is proper if it brings happiness and prevents suffering It was held that in determining whether a patient can consent to or refuse treatment the patient must be able to 1 comprehend and retain the relevant information 2 believe the information given and 3 be able to weigh that information balancing the risks and advantages Despite the courts acknowledgement that C s general capacity had been impaired these three statements were not established I believe that principlism was the approach used Created by Beauchamp and Childress they are accepted principles in medical ethics described as Respect for autonomy respecting the decision making capacities of autonomous persons enabling individuals to make reasoned informed choices Beneficence balancing of benefits of treatment against the risks Non maleficence avoiding the causation of harm and Justice the notion that patients in similar positions should be treated in a similar manner In my opinion deontological or principlism are the best approach as they are non judgmental less based on morality and centered around patients wishes allowing for autonomy unlike utilitarianism which is society centered and justified by being right in proportion if it promotes happiness Happiness though is subjective and cannot be measured Others may value freedom and autonomy instead and is wrong to force morality on others and assume their values Had I been the judge in the case I would have come to the same conclusion of allowing C s injunction 2 

The concept of neutral partisanship compels lawyers to act in a way that is ethically neutral when representing a client therefore had I been instructed by Heatherwood Hospital and believed strongly from the beginning that C should be allowed to make up his own mind about the treatment I would have to cast aside my own moral objections because of a duty to further the interests of my client not myself The cab rank rule which requires that a barrister must accept client instructions in the order which they come in also reinforces the idea a lawyer must represent a client regardless of whether he disagrees with the case and must do so with the client s best interest Herring 2017 notes that unlike with doctors who can refuse to be involved in an abortion because of a moral obligation through statutory protections there is no regard for a lawyer s moral obligations and in the U S it had been suggested that the high rate of alcohol and drug abuse among attorneys was linked to this Holmes Rice argued that it was important for lawyers to have a moral responsibility for the consequence of their work while Naomi Cahn of the George Washington University Law School stated that neutrality was simply a façade and lawyers ought to be encouraged to be honest with their clients as this would foster better lawyer client relationships but while that may be ideal it leaves undesirable clients at risk of not having legal representation which is incompatible with the idea that everybody deserves legal counsel and the legal requirement of the right to a fair trial Lawyers must also appreciate their moral responsibility in this regard and the consequence that may come as a result

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