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Bioethics
a broadly interdisciplinary field of inquiry that addresses the application of the biomedical sciences to health and life.
Normative Ethics
a branch of moral philosophy that seeks to identify moral standards of right and wrong conduct.
Moral Theory
seeks to provide an overarching and systematic account of morality as a whole
Practical Ethics
attempts to justify a particular way of life and particular resolutions to moral conflict.
Utilitarianism
an ethical theory that focuses on the consequences of actions.
Deontology
an ethical theory that focuses on the rightness or wrongness of actions.
Categorical Imperative
from Immanuel Kant, the basic principle on which morality is based. The moral law is absolute (categorical) and must be followed under all circumstances (imperative).
Prima Facie/Virtue Ethics
at first sight'; a prima facie moral rule is binding unless a competing moral obligation makes a stronger claim.
Principle
a broad action-guide or rule of conduct.
Nonmaleficence
do no harm.
Beneficence
do things to benefit others
Autonomy
self-rule
Justice
giving each his or her due; distributive justice: a fair distribution of benefits and burdens.
Specification
the process through which general principles are applied within specific cases; specification involves the discernment of specific rules (derived from the principle) that are relevant in a particular case
Balancing
deliberation and judgment about the relative weight or strength of norms in concrete cases.
Norm
a culturally specific rule about how people ought to behave in a given situation.
Causitry
a case-based method for resolving moral conflict.
Narrative Ethics
a method of resolving moral conflict that relies on the use of stories.
Supererogatory Acts
acts that go beyond the call of duty (from Latinsupererogation, 'payment beyond what is asked,' fromsuper, 'beyond,' and erogare, 'to pay out').
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