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PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 1 Matrix of Ethical Theories

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 1 Matrix of Ethical Theories

Student name

Capella University

PHI-FPX 3200

Prof. Name

May 11th, 2024

Ethical Theory Matrix

TheoryDecision CriteriaYour Own ExampleStrengthsWeaknesses
Utilitarianism        Utilitarianism is a philosophy that emphasizes maximizing overall happiness or pleasure for the largest number of people. In healthcare, this perspective often supports interventions or policies that deliver the greatest benefit to society as a whole, even if it means some individuals may encounter discomfort or adverse effects (Canning, 2020).A healthcare organization chooses to give vaccines first to vulnerable groups like older adults and healthcare workers. This approach aims to help society by protecting those who are more at risk, which can reduce the spread of illness and lower overall sickness and death rates (Tseng & Wang, 2021).              Utilitarianism emphasizes prioritizing others’ well-being, which helps create a strong sense of community and social responsibility. By seeking the greatest good for society, it promotes cooperation and teamwork among people and groups, resulting in positive social outcomes (Kobayashi, 2021).  A weakness of utilitarianism is that it might focus on the needs of the majority while neglecting the rights and interests of minorities or marginalized groups. This can lead to unfair results if certain individuals or groups are regularly overlooked in favor of maximizing overall happiness or benefit (Mikhaylova & Abramov, 2023).
Kantian Ethics        Kantian ethics emphasizes moral principles grounded in rationality and reason rather than emotions or external factors. It stresses the categorical imperative, a concept that underscores treating everyone with respect and dignity (Kolawole & David, 2022)A doctor chooses not to disclose a patient’s confidential information, even if doing so might benefit the patient. This decision aligns with the moral principle of respecting patient autonomy and privacy. Kantian ethics strongly emphasizes individual autonomy and treating every person with respect and dignity (Faria & Campos, 2023).A key strength of Kantian ethics is its emphasis on treating everyone with respect and dignity, regardless of personal preferences or desires. It acknowledges the inherent value of every person and encourages moral conduct guided by universal principles (Olejarczyk & Young, 2024).Kantian ethics can be rigid, potentially leading to moral absolutism, where actions are viewed as inherently right or wrong, irrespective of the context or outcomes. Other weaknesses include insufficient consideration for the greater good and a lack of practicality in real-world scenarios (Vearrier & Henderson, 2021).  
Ross’s Ethics        In healthcare, Ross’s Ethics is a deontological theory that suggests ethical decision-making involves weighing competing moral obligations. It highlights that moral duties are not absolute but are prima facie duties, meaning they can be set aside for stronger moral reasons. This theory recognizes that ethical decisions are complex and emphasizes the need to consider the unique circumstances of each situation (Shetty, 2023).A nurse is caring for a terminally ill patient in severe pain. The patient asks for a higher dose of medication than is usually recommended to relieve their pain. This puts the nurse in a tough spot, balancing the patient’s autonomy with the duty to avoid causing harm. Ross’s ethics can guide healthcare workers in handling such conflicts by encouraging them to consider an ethical framework before making decisions (Kelly et al., 2023).  Ross’s ethics offer a framework for balancing conflicting moral obligations while considering the specific context and circumstances of each ethical dilemma. It acknowledges the complexity of ethical decision-making and provides flexibility in defining moral duties (Vearrier, 2021).One weakness is that prima facie duties can conflict with one another, making decision-making challenging. The theory also offers limited guidance on resolving these conflicts, which can result in inconsistent decisions and difficulties finding a solution (Kudlek & Smith, 2022).
Natural Law Ethics      In healthcare, Natural Law Ethics helps guide ethical decisions by identifying moral duties based on natural laws. According to this theory, healthcare providers are responsible for supporting the natural goal of human life: achieving good health and well-being (Varkey, 2021).A doctor declines a terminally ill patient’s request for assisted suicide, despite their severe pain. Instead, the doctor opts to offer palliative care to ease discomfort and enhance the patient’s quality of life. This choice is grounded in the belief that assisted suicide violates the natural law principle of preserving life (Coggon, 2020).Natural Law Ethics in healthcare emphasizes universal moral values rooted in nature. It offers a clear framework for ethical decisions, helping people differentiate between right and wrong actions. This approach also prioritizes the well-being and health of patients, which is a crucial aspect of healthcare (Faria & Campos, 2023).Natural Law Ethics can be too simplistic and rigid when dealing with complex ethical issues. Its assumption of a clear, objective purpose for human life often overlooks individual feelings, leading to unfair decisions and bias due to its inflexible approach (Wilson, 2022).

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 1 Matrix of Ethical Theories References

Canning U. P. (2020). Public health ethics: a flawed view of Kant’s argument from autonomy. Journal of Public Health, 42(4), e477–e481.

Faria, F. N., & Campos, A. S. (2023). Social evolution as moral truth tracking in natural law. Politics and the Life Sciences, 41(1), 76–89.

Coggon J. (2020). Legal, moral and political determinants within the social determinants of health: Approaching transdisciplinary challenges through intradisciplinary reflection. Public Health Ethics, 13(1), 41–47.

Kelly, B. S., Kirwan, A., Quinn, M. S., Kelly, A. M., Mathur, P., Lawlor, A., & Killeen, R. P. (2023). The ethical matrix as a method for involving people living with disease and the wider public (PPI) in near-term artificial intelligence research. Radiography, 29 Suppl 1, S103–S111.

Kolawole, A. S., & David, E. O. (2022). Patient-physician relationship: In defence of w. d. ross’s prima facie duties. Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics, 13(3), 35–43.

Kudlek, K., & Smith, P. T. (2022). The Kantian promise and peril of moral bioenhancement. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 39(3), 487–503.

Kobayashi M. (2021). Political philosophies and positive political psychology: Inter-disciplinary framework for the common good. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 727818.

Mikhaylova, O., & Abramov, R. (2023). Exploring the ethics of political PR professionals using moral foundations theory. PloS One, 18(6), e0286217.

Olejarczyk JP, Young M. (2024). Patient rights and ethics. StatPearls Publishing.

Shetty N. (2023). Medical ethics and law. Indian Journal of Orthopaedics, 57(11), 1744–1747.

Tseng, P. E., & Wang, Y. H. (2021). Deontological or utilitarian? An eternal ethical dilemma in outbreak. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(16), 8565.

Varkey, B. (2021). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical Principles and Practice, 30(1), 17–28.

Vearrier, L., & Henderson, C. M. (2021). Utilitarian principlism as a framework for crisis healthcare ethics. HEC Forum, 33(1), 45–60.

Wilson B. K. (2022). When numbers eclipse narratives: a cultural-political critique of the ‘ethical’ impacts of short-term experiences in global health in Dominican Republic bateyes. Medical Humanities, 48(2), 190–199.

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