The four principles: Can they be measured and do they predict ethical decision making? [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
BMC Medical Ethics 13 (1):10- (2012)
Background: The four principles of Beauchamp and Childress - autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice - havebeen extremely influential in the field of medical ethics, and are fundamental for understanding the currentapproach to ethical assessment in health care. This study tests whether these principles can be quantitativelymeasured on an individual level, and then subsequently if they are used in the decision making process whenindividuals are faced with ethical dilemmas. Methods: The Analytic Hierarchy Process was used as a tool for the measurement of the principles. Four scenarios, whichinvolved conflicts between the medical ethical principles, were presented to participants and they madejudgments about the ethicality of the action in the scenario, and their intentions to act in the same manner if theywere in the situation. Results: Individual preferences for these medical ethical principles can be measured using the Analytic HierarchyProcess. This technique provides a useful tool in which to highlight individual medical ethical values. Onaverage individuals have a significant preference for non-maleficence over the other principles, however, andperhaps counter-intuitively, this preference does not seem to relate to applied ethical judgements in specificethical dilemmas. Conclusions: People state they value these medical ethical principles but they do not actually seem to use them directly in thedecision making process. The reasons for this are explained through the lack of a behavioural model to accountfor the relevant situational factors not captured by the principles. The limitations of the principles in predictingethical decision making are discussed
|Keywords||Ethical principles Hierarchies Medical ethics Analytic hierarchy process|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
John D. Arras (1991). Getting Down to Cases: The Revival of Casuistry in Bioethics. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 16 (1):29-51.
A. Dawson (2006). In Defence of Moral Imperialism: Four Equal and Universal Prima Facie Principles. Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (4):200-204.
J. P. DeMarco (2005). Principlism and Moral Dilemmas: A New Principle. Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (2):101-105.
R. Gillon (2003). Ethics Needs Principles—Four Can Encompass the Rest—and Respect for Autonomy Should Be “First Among Equals”. Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (5):307-312.
R. Gillon (2003). Four Scenarios. Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (5):267-268.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Ido Millet (1998). Ethical Decision Making Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Journal of Business Ethics 17 (11):1197-1204.
Alan G. Johnson (2006). Making Sense of Medical Ethics: A Hands-on Guide. Distributed in the U.S.A. By Oxford University Press.
Phillip V. Lewis (1989). Ethical Principles for Decision Makers: A Longitudinal Survey. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 8 (4):271 - 278.
T. K. Das (2005). How Strong Are the Ethical Preferences of Senior Business Executives? Journal of Business Ethics 56 (1):69 - 80.
Dawn R. Elm & Tara J. Radin (2012). Ethical Decision Making: Special or No Different? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 107 (3):313-329.
G. M. A. Hussein (2010). When Ethics Survive Where People Do Not. Public Health Ethics 3 (1):72-77.
Alice Gaudine & Linda Thorne (2001). Emotion and Ethical Decision-Making in Organizations. Journal of Business Ethics 31 (2):175 - 187.
Sahin Aksoy & Ali Tenik (2002). The 'Four Principles of Bioethics' as Found in 13 Th Century Muslim Scholar Mawlana's Teachings. BMC Medical Ethics 3 (1):1-7.
Suzanne C. Wagner & G. Lawrence Sanders (2001). Considerations in Ethical Decision-Making and Software Piracy. Journal of Business Ethics 29 (1-2):161 - 167.
David Fritzsche & E. Oz (2007). Personal Values' Influence on the Ethical Dimension of Decision Making. Journal of Business Ethics 75 (4):335 - 343.
Pedro Gallo (2004). Integrating Ethical Enquiry and Health Technology Assessment: Limits and Opportunities for Efficiency and Equity. Poiesis and Praxis 2 (s 2-3):103-117.
Barry Morenz & Bruce Sales (1997). Complexity of Ethical Decision Making in Psychiatry. Ethics and Behavior 7 (1):1 – 14.
Joseph G. P. Paolillo & Scott J. Vitell (2002). An Empirical Investigation of the Influence of Selected Personal, Organizational and Moral Intensity Factors on Ethical Decision Making. Journal of Business Ethics 35 (1):65 - 74.
Jaana Woiceshyn (2011). A Model for Ethical Decision Making in Business: Reasoning, Intuition, and Rational Moral Principles. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 104 (3):311-323.
Richard J. McKenna (1996). Explaining Amoral Decision Making: An External View of a Human Disaster. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 15 (6):681 - 694.
Added to index2012-05-21
Total downloads12 ( #130,771 of 1,103,218 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #121,213 of 1,103,218 )
How can I increase my downloads?