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Explain the ethical issue in the scenario.


Compose 2–3 pages in which you respond to a medical ethics dilemma.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies:

· Competency 1: Explain the nature of ethical issues. 

1. Explain the ethical issue in the scenario.

. Competency 2: Critically examine the contributions of key thinkers from the history of ethics. 

2. Apply the three traditional theories of normative ethics to the situation.

. Competency 3: Engage in ethical debate. 

3. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the three theories as they relate to this situation.

. Competency 4: Develop a position on a contemporary ethical issue. 

4. Apply ethical theory to justify your ethical position on this issue.

. Competency 5: Communicate effectively in the context of personal and professional moral discourse. 

5. Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for members of professional communities.



Ethics is about doing what is right. Traditional normative theories express this goal in one of three ways:

. Virtue Ethics 

6. Seek personal excellence by cultivating virtuous habits.

6. Aristotle: Achieve self-sufficiency through moderation.

. Deontological Ethics 

7. Do your duty by following the rules.

7. Kant: Act as any rational agent is bound by universal law.

. Consequentialist Ethics 

8. Try to make the world a better place by producing good outcomes.

8. Mill: Generate more pleasure and less pain for everyone.

Applying ethical theories to everyday life is not easy, as we consider virtues, duties, and results:

. Virtue Ethics 

9. Strengths: Respect for people, moral education, continuing progress.

9. Problems: No direct advice for specific situations, excuse for self-serving.

. Deontological Ethics 

10. Strengths: Simple application of rules, avoid personal responsibility.

10. Problems: Rigidly strict, conflicting rules, sometimes bad consequences.

. Consequentialist Ethics 

11. Strengths: Flexibility in circumstances, outcomes publicly discernible.

11. Problems: Hard to predict results accurately, especially over the long run.

Using all three is fine, but we need to think through how they cohere or diverge.

· Toggle Drawer

Questions to Consider

To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community.

As you think about applying ethical theory, consider addressing one of the following questions:

. Which of the three approaches to ethical theory makes the most sense, and why?

. When might Aristotle, Kant, and Mill disagree about how to handle a specific case?

. What theoretical approach are you most likely to employ in particular situations?

· Toggle Drawer


Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.

Three Approaches

. Fieser, J. (n.d.). EthicsInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from 

1. Pages 1–15.

. Hinman, L. M. (2016). Ethical theoriesEthics Updates?. Retrieved from 

2. Pages 1–2

Virtue Ethics

. Taylor, C. C. W. (2006).  Aristotle: Nicomachean ethics, books II–IV Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

. Kemerling, G. (2011). Aristotle: Ethics and the virtuesThe Philosophy Pages. Available from 

4. Pages 1–3.

. Kraut, R. (2014, April 21). Aristotle’s ethicsThe Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from 

5. Pages 1–27.

. Sachs, J. (n.d.). Aristotle: EthicsInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://

. Tong, R., & Williams, N. (2009). Feminist ethicsStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from


. Kant, I. (2002).  Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

. Jankowiak, T. (n.d.). Kant: 5. Moral TheoryInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from  

9. Pages 22–28.

. Johnson, R., & Cureton, A. (2016). Kant’s moral philosophyStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Spring 2018 Edition. Retrieved from 

10. Pages 1–35.

. Kemerling, G. (2011). Kant: The moral orderThe Philosophy Pages. Available from 

11. Pages 1–5.


. Mill, J. S. (2009).  Utilitarianism Auckland, NZ: The Floating Press.

. Brink, D. (2014). Mill’s moral and political philosophyStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition). Retrieved from 

13. Pages 1–72.

. Kemerling, G. (2011). UtilitarianismThe Philosophy Pages. Available from 

14. Pages 1–5.

. Schefczyk, M. (n.d.). John Stuart Mill: EthicsInternet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from 

15. Pages 1–23.

. Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2015). ConsequentialismThe Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2015 Edition). Retrieved from 

16. Pages 1–25. 

More on Ethics

Three Kinds of Normative Theory.

Applying Ethical Theory

18. This activity can give you a better understanding of how to apply ethical theories and may be helpful for completing the assessment.

. NBC Learn. (n.d.).  Ex-con saves baby on Georgia highway  [Video].  

19. In this video, you will see an example of ethical behavior.

19. Running time: 2:16.

. NBC Learn. (n.d.).  Representative Tammy Duckworth shames man about claimed war wound  [Video].  

20. In this video, you will see an example of conflict over ethical issues.

20. Running time: 2:21.

Problem Solving

. Skillsoft. (n.d.).  Critical thinking essentials: What is critical thinking? [Tutorial]

21. One of the Essential Undergraduate Learning Outcomes is “Problem-Solving,” which includes the soft skill of thinking critically about significant issues. Since we will be using this throughout the course, you may find it helpful to refresh your skills by viewing this Skillsoft tutorial.

21. Running time: 1:00:00.

. Skillsoft. (n.d.).  The building blocks of building trust [Tutorial].  

22. Respectful debate is fundamental to successful problem solving, since everyone has the right to a personal opinion. Trust is an essential part of this. Use this Skillsoft tutorial to grow at building trust in this setting.

22. Running time: 29:00.

Academic Skills

23. Check this page for more resources on critical thinking:

Critical Thinking.

Effective Learning Strategies.

Writing Support

Consult the following resources for academic writing assistance:

Capella Writing Center.

APA Style and Format.

General Education Information Research Skills Library Guide

A Capella University library guide has been created for your use in General Education courses. The General Education Information Research Skills Library Guide contains tips on how to use the Capella University Library to find resources for your General Education courses. You are encouraged to refer to the resources in this library guide to direct your research in this course.

Note: This Program Guide supports the Essential Undergraduate Learning Outcome of Information Literacy.

· Assessment Instructions

Assessment Overview

You have now studied the three approaches to ethical theory (deontological, consequentialist, and virtue theory) as exemplified in the work of Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Aristotle. Your assessment is to write an essay applying these three approaches to the following practical case:

You are called to consult in the critical care unit of your local hospital. The hospital admits JoEllen, 53, after she takes an overdose of prescription medications with alcohol. On admission, she says, “Not supposed to be here . . . ” and soon becomes uncommunicative. As her condition deteriorates rapidly, her son arrives with a notarized advance directive in which JoEllen specifically asks not to be placed on life support. What should you recommend to the attending health professionals?

Assessment Instructions

As you write your essay, consider how you would achieve the following:

. Explain the ethical issue in this scenario.

. Apply the three traditional theories of normative ethics to this situation.

. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the three theories as they relate to this situation.

. Apply ethical theory to justify your stance on the right thing to do in this situation.

Your instructor may provide video feedback on your work, as well as complete the official scoring guide for the assessment.

Additional Requirements

. Written communication: Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.

. APA formatting: Format resources and citations according to current APA style guidelines.

. Number of resources: Use your judgment to ensure your topic is thoroughly researched. There is no minimum number of resources required.

. Length of paper: Submit 2–3 typed, double-spaced pages.

. Font and font size: Use Arial, 12-point font.


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