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A Case against Utilitarianism in the Health Care System - Essay Example

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Health care System encounters a number of ethical dilemmas on a daily basis while accomplishing various demanding activities. One of the ethical dilemmas is rationing of scarce resources. The other example of ethical dilemmas is trying to influence some people to change their behaviors. …
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A Case against Utilitarianism in the Health Care System
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In all of the above ethical dilemmas, it involves various conflicting ethical issues in order to make the final decision. In the health care system, there are no agreed directions on how to analyze these ethical dilemmas among others. One of the philosophical views that make up a framework with the aim of trying to analyze some of the ethical dilemmas is utilitarianism. The philosophical view or theory holds the fact that individuals are morally required to maximize happiness, regardless of whose it is. Utilitarianism would have a huge negative impact if employed to solve ethical dilemmas in the health care system. This paper supports the fact that utilitarianism fails to be the best philosophical view to employ in the health care system when trying to solve various ethical dilemmas. In order to support this fact, the paper will address the issue of utilitarianism in two different angles. One of them is objective utilitarianism and the other is subjective utilitarianism. Objective utilitarianism is the viewpoint that translates to the issue of achieving only the greatest impact for the available resources. This viewpoint explains that it is possible to achieve the greatest impact through emphasizing individual well-being in objective terms (Almgren, 2007). For example, this issue can be conducted or demonstrated by a team of experts. In order to accomplish the obligation, the experts may decide to develop a certain guide that helps in evaluating various circumstances that affect everyone. An example of such a guide is the Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY) that tends to take into consideration quality of life and economic productivity of an individual (Etudaiye, 2011). The approach of utilitarianism poses a challenge to the in the activities of the health care system. The challenge emerges on the fact that objective utilitarianism contributes to the assessment of causation. Therefore, the approach ends up making a number of complications through influencing reliable predications concerning various future issues to be based on past performance (Almgren, 2007). Some of the activities that take place in the health care system are difficult to ascertain using objective utilitarianism approach. For example, if healthcare tries to shift a certain program to one that it is integrated to its system, various costs must be met. However, the expected costs savings to occur because of the change need to be compared with the health consequences that might emerge. This means that there is a significant need to assess how the new program will be implemented of which it is difficult to ascertain (Almgren, 2007). The above information supports the fact that objective utilitarianism fails to be the best philosophical view to employ in the healthcare while trying to solve various issues especially those related to ethics. The other issue to present while trying to illustrate that it is not advisable to employ utilitarianism in the healthcare system is the viewpoint of subjective utilitarianism. This viewpoint is of a non-hierarchical concept. This means the viewpoint translates that all individuals matter and matter equally (Almgren, 2007). Therefore, when judging or making a policy, it requires adding up each individual or participant’s opinion on each policy option and then making the final decision that leads to the most happiness or utility (Almgren, 2007). On this case, economist tends to take this framework to another level. They employ the concept of cost-benefit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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