Ethical Discernment

FINAL MAJOR PRESENTATION – Fall 2020 INTRODUCATION TO ETHICS ETHICAL DISCERNMENT TEMPLATE Find a major news story of 2020 that reflects “The moral of the story”. Create an Ethical Discernment using the following outline. I.      Identify the Central Questions within the News Story – clearly and succinctly articulate the issues. What individual and societal ethical issues/considerations does it raise? How does this story potentially impact the individual/society in the short and long term? Is this an appropriate time to address this issue? II.   Who is affected by this story and the situation? Who has proper authority to address this situation? Who is most directly affected by the moral decisions made? III. Identify the relevant facts of this story or situation. What laws seem to have been broken? Who was harmed directly and indirectly? Is there a greater good to be protected? IV.   Identify salient values and moral concerns. Address key principles like Human Dignity, the Common Good, Justice. What are the values that are clearly in place or violated? V.      IS THERE ANOTHER WAY? Once you have made your own ethical decision, ask yourself – is there an alternative decision I could or should have made? This is your major paper and final exam in one. It is due on December 12, 2020 by 5:00pm. I will grade your paper and send you feedback. You can begin working on it when-ever and submit it when you have it finished. If you would like to work on this early and submit early I would be grateful Remember this is 35% of your grade so make sure you follow the instructions completely and add the ethical principles as you did for the movie The Doctor.  I must have all papers by December 12th which is why I am opening this now so you have plenty of time. Let me give you some examples of stories to write about. The Ethical Issues related to Black Lives Matter Protests are very good as is the Story of George Floyd. The ethical issues related to COVID and the Development of a COVID 19 Vaccine are also appropriate as are the issues related to the ethics of this National Election. You may have some local stories related to Criminal Justice and Healthcare and you are free to use these as well. But you need to make sure you create an Ethical Discernment and not an Op Ed Piece related solely to your opinion of the stories and issues. I will have the SafeAssign key on so I will know how much of your paper is not your own but was lifted from medial and news articles. Some references will be very appropriate since you have to had the facts to analyze with the Key Ethical Principles. This paper is similar to your Midterm in what is required so pay attention to that fact that I want to see how you name, analyze and apply the Key Ethical Principles. If this part is missing it will reflect on my feedback and your grade. Please call me or email me with any questions you have and I suggest you start working on this paper now – October 20th…. until December. I am a news media junkie so I pretty much follow everything that is out there in the news. Key Ethical Principles   Principle of Beneficence – traditionally understood as the “first principle” of morality, the dictum “do good and avoid evil” lends some moral content to this principle.  Principle of the Common Good – in general, the common good consists of all the conditions of society and the goods secured by those conditions, which allow individuals to achieve human and spiritual flourishing. Principle of Distributive Justice – considered as one type of justice, distributive justice is a central concept in the Catholic tradition and is closely linked to the concepts of human dignity, the common good, and equality. (The issues in Indiana and Arkansas with the Religious Freedom Laws is an excellent example) Principle of Double Effect – an action that is good in itself that has two effects –an intended and otherwise not reasonably attained good effect, and an unintended yet foreseen evil  effect. Here we ask the question “does the end justify the means?” Principle of Formal and Material Cooperation – we cooperate with others in the world in order to achieve or preserve important goods, or in order to diminish or avoid evils and harm. (The talks with Iran about Nuclear Power is a great example) Principle of Human Dignity – the intrinsic worth that inheres to every human being – in Catholic Ethics this comes from the teaching that “we are all born in the image and likeness of God” Principle of Informed Consent – it is the right and responsibility of every competent individual to advance his or her own welfare. This right and responsibility is exercised by freely and voluntarily consenting or refusing any form of medical treatment or intervention. Principle of Integrity and Totality – these principles dictate that the well-being of the whole person must be taken into account in deciding about any therapeutic intervention or use of technology. Principle of Proportionality and Disproportionate Means – often used synonymously with the terms “ordinary/extraordinary means” or “burden and benefit” since the three sets of terms can be used interchangeably. Here we ask the questions is whatever means is being used – will it provide an extreme burden to the person – body, mind or spirit – or will it provide a better outcome to the person to achieve a better quality of life than is currently being lived. Principle of Religious Freedom – all persons have a right to religious freedom, which has its foundation in human dignity. This principle implies that competent individuals should never be forced to act in a manner that goes against his/her religious beliefs.  Think about the situation in the Middle East with the ISIS group and those they kidnap. Principle of Autonomy –this is the capacity for self-determination by each and every human being who enjoys the capacity of decision making. Principle of Respect for Persons – all individual human beings are presumed to be free and responsible persons and should be treated as such in proportion to their ability in the each circumstance.  (The stories of the Civil Rights movement reflect this principle vividly) Principle of Stewardship –requires us to appreciate the two great gifts that a wise and loving God has given: the earth with all its natural resources, and our own human nature with all the intrinsic resources understood in supernatural law. It requires humans to give of their time, talents and treasures to protect that which belongs to individuals and all of society. Principle of Subsidiarity – often considered a corollary of the principle of the common good – subsidiarity required those in positions of authority to recognize that individuals have a right to participate in decision making that effects them and that decisions should be made closest to those most involved in the decision.

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