Ethical Analysis Of Virtue Ethics

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One of the characteristics of a Jehovah’s witness faith is they refuse blood products on the grounds that it is doctrinally forbidden, regardless of the possibility of death. This Christian sect has developed a position for blood transfusions through the analysis of Genesis 9 and Leviticus 17 to “not eat from the bread of life”. God views blood as embodying life so they avoid taking blood out of respect to God. Some Jehovah’s witnesses believe receiving blood products could lead to expulsion from their community and concern of perpetual damnation (Karkowsky, 2013). Considering there are over 7 million Jehovah’s witnesses among 200 countries it is important to be prepared for the challenges of the refusal of blood products in the healthcare…show more content…
We can apply virtue ethics to analyze the situation. This approach focuses on what is morally correct from the patient's viewpoint and centers on the patient's autonomy. Actions and character are intertwined, and the ability to act morally is contingent on one's moral character and integrity (Pasci, 2015). Virtue ethics focuses on the context of the situation (Volbrecht, 2002). Ethical analysis of virtue ethics entails: identifying the problem, analyzing context, exploring options, applying the decision process, and implementing the plan (Volbrecht, 2002), To understand the decision-making process in this case, one must consider the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence. The patient's religious beliefs and how they influenced her decision must also be taken into consideration (Gardiner,…show more content…
Healthcare providers faced with this situation have sometimes attempted to obtain court orders that would overrule the patient's decision and result in her submitting to recommended medical treatment. For example, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a mother's decision to refuse blood transfusions even though they were vital for both the mother's and fetus' survival (Pasci, 2014). The legal rights mainly centered on the mother, with the fetus treated as part of her. The court usually will not enforce treatment because the endorsement of the woman's autonomy is paramount (Kidson-Gerber,

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