Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative Essay

The Ethical Theory of Principlism in Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative Context: A Case Study


The ethical theory of Principlism introduced by Beauchamp and Childress in the Principles of Biomedical Ethics is also sometimes referred to as the “Georgetown Approach.” It comprises of four main principles namely respect for (patient) autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and fairness or justice. Nonmaleficence refers to the act of healthcare workers not intentionally causing harm to their patients, while beneficence calls for healthcare workers to always work and do everything for the benefit of the patient (, 2016; Page, 2012; McCarthy, 2003). The four major ethical principles above happen to be common to almost all the available ethical theories, aside from Principlism. They strive to harmonize ethical principles with socio-cultural and religious beliefs (Advanced Practice Toolkit, 2018).

The principle of respect for autonomy dictates that the healthcare professional should respect the decision of care taken by a mentally competent and adult patient or relative of patient. The professional must not object to the decision even if it appears unsound and irrational. This means no healthcare professional has the moral authority to overrule the decision taken by a mentally sound patient or a competent relative concerning their care. Moreover, they must also first obtain consent for any procedure on the patient after thorough explanation of consequences (, 2016; McCarthy, 2003). The ethical principle of fairness or justice on its part dictates that the health professional and the health institution have a distributive and criminal responsibility in so far as the patient’s condition and conduct are concerned. This is in relation to the patient’s condition and its interaction with other members of the society. Resources must be shared fairly (like available organs for transplantation), and matters like a patient intentionally attempting to infect another with a deadly disease (a criminal act) must be reported by the health worker to the relevant authorities (, 2016; McCarthy, 2003).

Applying the Four Principles: Case Study Part 1 (Chart)

Medical Indications
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