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Temple University School of Law
McClellan, Frank M.

mHealthcare Bioethics Exam Outline

Introduction to Bioethics Pages 1-35

Every system of ethics defines not only rights and obligations but the community which will protect those rights and obligations. How we define our community is who we extend ethical recognition. Every society defines its community however bounded by race, religion, nationality, belief, consanguinity or local. There are persons who belong to no community.

The way that the US has gone about including and excluding people, favoring or discriminates, illustrates how a system of ethics defines its community.
African slaves, Chinese laborers, surrogate mothers – property
Immigration quotas
Disfavor – prisoners, mentally retarded, sexual predators

1960 Civil Right Legislation and Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 have broadened our definition of an ethical community.

Lesser liberty for slaves, surrogates, aliens, prisoners, mentally ill, sexual predators than for full “persons”.

John Rawls provides us with a single statement on the comprehensive system of ethics, analyzing the interrelationship of society and individual, working out rights and responsibilities.

Utilitarianism – goal of public action should be the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people

Rawls, Justice as Fairness
Goal – fundamental idea in the concept of justice is fairness. The 2 concepts of justice and fairness are not the same; one may be more fundamental than the other.
Governed by social contract and not utilitarianism. The contract: the parties jointly acknowledge certain principles of appraisal relating to their common practices wither as already established or merely proposed. These are standards of judgment not a specific agreement or bargain

2 principles of justice:

Each person participating in a practice, or affected by it, has an equal right to the most extensive liberty compatible with the like liberty for all

Must be a justification for departing from the initial position of equal liberty defined by practice (burden of proof on person departing so often is justification)

Inequalities are arbitrary unless it is reasonable to expect that they will work out for everyone’s advantage, and provided the positions and offices to which they attach, or from which they may be gained, are open to all.

This defines how the presumption in principle 1 can be put aside.
Discussing differences in benefits and burdens (not offices and positions)

cedure expressing the constraints of having a morality to jointly acknowledge principles by which their claims on the design of their common practices are to be judged, they will settle on these 2 principles as restrictions governing the assignment of rights and duties, and thereby accept them as limiting their rights against one another.

The mutual acknowledgement of principles by free persons who have no authority over one another which makes the concept of fairness fundamental to justice.

Fairness – applies to practices in which there is a choice to engage or not; participants can choose to accept the rules as fair; if accepted there is a prima facie duty to comply
Justice – there is not choice to engage (e.g. slavery)

Acceptance of duty of fair play is reflected in each person’s recognition of the aspirations and interests of others to be realized by their joint activity. This recognition of another as a person must show itself in the acceptance of the principles of justice and the acknowledgment of the duty of fair play.