Question Dorette Politics & International Relations

What is applied ethics?

What is applied ethics?

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Applied ethics deal with the analysis of controversial issues; this would include – abortion, euthanasia and gay rights. For an issue to be considering an applied ethical issue it would need to fulfil a certain criteria, it would need to be controversial in the sense that different people would be either strongly for or against the issue. Secondly the issue would need to be a moral issue, for example the duty to not lie, as opposed to a controversial issue such as private healthcare that is more related to social policy and as such not a universal ethical dilemma.

Areas of applied ethics include:

Biomedical ethics – Unsurprisingly a number of ethical issues are related to healthcare work and issues that arise inside hospitals, these could include genetic manipulation of embryos, abortion and treatment or lack of for people with terminal illnesses.

Business ethics – This field looks at controversies relating to capitalist business models and the ethical dilemmas that can arise within them. These would include insider trading, affirmative action and deceptive advertising.

Sexual morality – This area relates to ethical conundrums that are of a sexual nature. Examples would include homosexual relationships, polygamy and extramarital affairs.