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Overview of Ethical Approaches 

Overview of Ethical Approaches
Overview of Ethical Approaches

Robert C. Macauley

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date: 23 November 2020

While there exists significant disagreement among bioethicists as to the appropriate course of action in specific cases, there is actually general agreement about how to approach ethical dilemmas. This involves classifying the nature of the dilemma, reviewing existing information, acquiring additional information, analyzing the issue from multiple viewpoints, and formulating a response in light of potential criticisms. Potential analytic viewpoints include principlism, consequentialism, virtue ethics, casuistry, narrative ethics, and the ethics of care. When a clear resolution is not possible, ideally the situation can be temporized or clearly unacceptable options—including rationing at the bedside—eliminated, in the hopes of further resolution eventually occurring.

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