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Indian trials and informed consent

Course video 9 of 17

In this module we will discuss some ethical theories that have been developed by various philosophers. Ethical theories help us to sort out our thinking and to develop a coherent and justifiable basis for dealing with moral questions. The role of ethical theories is to provide certain arguments or reasons for a moral judgment. They provide a normative framework for understanding and responding to moral problems, so improving ethical decision-making or, at least, avoiding certain shortcuts, such as neglecting certain relevant features of the problem or just stating an opinion without any justification. In this module we shall therefore introduce three of the most well-known ethical theories: consequentialism, duty ethics and virtue ethics. These theories each have their own criteria with which they determine whether an action is right or wrong. Before we go into these three theories we shall discuss what we mean by morality and ethics, and we shall look into the points of departure of ethics: values, norms, and virtues. These points of departure often recur in ethical theories.

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