comment from post 3 20

Principlism is the driving force of bioethics, it is a practical approach for ethical decision making that focuses on the common ground moral principles of, Autonomy –free will, Beneficence– do good, Non-maleficence– do no harm and Justice- social distribution of benefits and burdens. Universal principles are fashioned into particular moralities such as those found in professional medical ethics, and the circumstances under which particular moralities are consistent with universal morality. (Beauchamp 2016).  The Principlism approach is accepted by most intellectuals, cultural and religious traditions and according to this all individuals should have freedom to choose, those that have limited autonomy should be protected, humans should not be harmed, but have maximum benefits and that the benefits of research be distributed fairly.

All of the principles of bioethics are very important, and I agree with John Harris in that the four principles are neither the beginning or the end of the ethical reflection, the principles are not always useful or sufficient. I think that each is taken into consideration depending on the case, but in my opinion “Primum non nocere” which means “first, do no harm” or Non-maleficence.  As in the Hippocratic Oath physicians promise to reject harm to their patients. This principle is of great importance because we as caregivers are to avoid harm. Autonomy is more important than beneficence because without consent from a free moral agent, it is not possible to act. Beneficence is probably at the bottom because what may be good for one may not be so good for the other.

One of the most well-known principles of Christian Living is “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; this is the law and the prophets.” (Mathew 7:12 RSV) In my opinion the Christian narrative would start with Non-maleficence because according to The Ten Commandments one of them is “You shall not kill” = do no harm.  


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