Eight Tools of Ethical Reasoning

Tools of Ethical Reasoning:
I.  Distinguish facts from values.  Facts requires an assessment of evidence.  Values require and ethical argument.
II.  Reasoning from principles.  
A.  Respect for patient autonomy.
B.  Beneficence:  The promotion of what's best for the patient.
C.  Non-maleficence:  Avoiding harm.
D.  Justice.  Distributive justice, respect for the law, rights, and retributive justice. 
 Regarding distributive justice:  Patients in similar situations should have access to the same healthcare.  In determining what level of healthcare should be available for one set of patients we must take into account the effect of such a use of resources on other patients.
III.  Defining terms.  Terms may mean different things to different sides of the argument.
IV.  Elucidating concepts.  Concepts may also mean different things to different sides of the argument.
V.  Case comparison.  Using real cases.
VI.  Thought experiments.  Using imaginary and possibly unrealistic situations.
VII.  Logic.  A logically invalid argument is fallacious reasoning.
VIII.  Spotting and avoiding fallacies in reasoning.  


Hope, R. A., and Michael Dunn. Medical Ethics : a Very Short Introduction . Second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Print.
Tools of Ethical Reasoning:
I. Distinguish facts from values. Facts requires an assessment of evidence. Values require and ethical argument.
II. Reasoning from principles.
A. Respect for patient autonomy.
B. Beneficence: The promotion of what's best for the patient.
C. Non-maleficence: Avoiding harm.
D. Justice. Distributive justice, respect for the law, rights, and retributive justice.
Regarding distributive justice: Patients in similar situations should have access to the same healthcare. In determining what level of healthcare should be available for one set of patients we must take into account the effect of such a use of resources on other patients.
III. Defining terms. Terms may mean different things to different sides of the argument.
IV. Elucidating concepts. Concepts may also mean different things to different sides of the argument.
V. Case comparison. Using real cases.
VI. Thought experiments. Using imaginary and possibly unrealistic situations.
VII. Logic. A logically invalid argument is fallacious reasoning.
VIII. Spotting and avoiding fallacies in reasoning.


Hope, R. A., and Michael Dunn. Medical Ethics : a Very Short Introduction . Second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. Print.

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