Thecontemporary society is governed by morals and guidelines that aresubject to compliance by all the stakeholders to ensure a smoothrunning of the community. Actions in most cases are evaluated basedon their results generally. This paper seeks to identify acontemporary moral issue and approve it based on the utilitarianismprinciple and the Bentham’s Felicific Calculus.
Inthe scope of ethics, this is a principle or rather a theory thatpropagates that the best action is that which maximizes utility. Inthis definition, the term utility will be used to mean various thingsincluding the well-being of an individual among others. There is,therefore, the need to justify an action undertaken in the society byanalyzing its utility. If the action increases the utility or israther beneficial, it is regarded as ethical otherwise unethical.Utilitarianism is, therefore, a version of consequentialism in thatthe outcomes of any action are the only standard measures of a rightor wrong (Louise 65-85).
JeremyBentham came up with a mode of measuring the degree of pleasureresulting from an action undertaken. This is where felicific calculusstems from, where the philosopher asserted that the degree ofrightness or wrongness of an action is the product of the pleasure orpain produced.
Themoral action for this purpose is euthanasia. This is a medicalsituation where the medical practitioners in consultation with thepatients who are terminally ill and their family decide to end theirlives to reduce the suffering by patients, reduce emotional damage torelatives among others. The main aim is to end or rather relieve apatient fro intractable suffering.
Thisis a contemporary moral issue that falls under the paradigm ofmeasurement by both utilitarianism and felicific calculus. In mostinstances, some patients experience continuous suffering in mostcases due to terminal diseases that seem not to be treatable. Insuch a case a patient may request the doctor in consultation with thefamily members to terminate his life. This is, therefore, a legal andmedically accepted practice to help reduce suffering to a patient(Hamlin and Stemplowska 48-62). More so, the practice relieves therelatives of emotional suffering and also in many instances thefinancial burden for patients who lack insurance policies to caterfor their medical bills.
Theoutcome of this action is morally justifiable in that it increasesthe utility which according to the felicific calculus is measurable(Varelius 635-648). This action relieves suffering from the patientand more so the financial burden to the family. There are sevenvariables in the felicific calculus that need to be in place for thejustification to prevail. For intensity in this contemporary moralissue, the pain is much and reducing it brings a substantial amountof relieve. The duration of the relieve is also permanent as thepatient ceases to experience the pain forever. It is also certainthat the pain will cease. Various individuals, in this case, benefitsfrom such an undertaking and therefore this can be justified to be acontemporary moral action.
Hamlin,Alan and Zofia Stemplowska. "Theory, Ideal Theory And The TheoryOf Ideals". PoliticalStudies Review 10.1(2012): 48-62. Web.
Louise,Jennie. "Right Motive, Wrong Action: Direct Consequentialism AndEvaluative Conflict". EthicalTheory and Moral Practice 9.1(2006): 65-85. Web.
Varelius,Jukka. "Mental Illness, Natural Death, And Non-Voluntary PassiveEuthanasia". EthicalTheory and Moral Practice 19.3(2015): 635-648. Web.
Jacques,Theroux, Keith and Krazemann: Ethics theory and practice 11 edition