Real ethical dilemmas are those for which every possible action (including the omission of action) brings some ethical costs to a person, or to a group of persons involved. Ethical analysis begins with a list of persons involved and then explores, for each of them, the ethical benefits and costs of a certain action according to the four ethical principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. In this way, two or more possible actions with their ethical benefits and costs are compared. Ethical analysis does not automatically lead to the recommended action; rather, it is a practical approach to analyze a dilemma, identify the problematic aspects of each of the possible actions, and alleviate the related ethical costs.
KeywordsEthical benefits Ethical costs Autonomy Beneficence Non-maleficence Justice
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