Ethical Theories and Abortion Issues: Three Perspectives Analytical Essay by Nicky

Ethical Theories and Abortion Issues: Three Perspectives
An examination of the deontological, utilitarian, and virtue-based ethical perspectives on the moral question of terminating pregnancy.
# 148576 | 2,406 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 27, 2011 in Philosophy (Ethics) , Hot Topics (Abortion) , Ethics (General)

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The paper outlines the deontological perspective, the utilitarian perspective and the position of virtue ethics on the issue of abortion. The paper highlights the limitations of each perspective and concludes that the most practical approach to the moral issue of abortion would be the combination of act utilitarianism with elements of deontological ethics. The paper asserts, however, that even this approach would depend on the independent objective validity of the underlying assumptions and definitions.

Introduction and Thesis
Deontological Abortion Considerations
Utilitarian Abortion Considerations
Virtue-Based Abortion Decisions

From the Paper:

"Kant might also prohibit abortion under his deontological formalism (Dershowitz, 2002 p94), based on the notion that human reason alone is sufficient to value the protection of life over elective choices of individual convenience, although that outcome would depend entirely on the underlying assumptions and definitions of values. For example, the objective application of human reason to the issue might propose that the concept of consciousness is the basis of moral objection to abortion beyond the point of fetal consciousness but not where abortion is performed prior to that phase of fetal development."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dershowitz, Alan M. Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York: Little Brown & Co, 2002, pp 88-197.
  • Hursthouse, Rosalind. On Virtue Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp 29-77.
  • Mill, John Stuart. On liberty, in The Classical Utilitarians: Bentham and Mill, ed. J Troyer. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2003, pp 150-244.
  • Russell, Bertrand. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell. London: Routledge, 2002, pp 81-204.

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