Applied Ethics: Principles and Perspectives
Here in the last chapter of the book, I focus on two applied ethical frameworks and key professional and international guidelines prohibiting torture. We start with two of the major figures in Bioethics, Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress. Their four principles are of central importance in Western Biomedical Ethics. They are: Autonomy, Beneficence, Non-Maleficence, and Justice. Each one is discussed and applied to doctors and torture. The second ethical framework considered is that of Ethicist Bernard Gert and the ten duties he considers universally applicable. All are then applied the question of doctors’ involvement in torture—showing that doing so would be morally remiss.
We then look at professional organizations and international codes; all of which prohibit torture. These organizations and their guidelines emphasize the responsibility and accountability of doctors taking the right path—one to “Do no harm.”
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