The principle of respect for autonomy
• “As a negative obligation: Autonomous actions should not be subjected to controlling constraints by others” [1].
• “As a positive obligation, this principle requires both respectful treatment in disclosing information and actions that foster autonomous decision making” [1]. Furthermore, this principle obligates to “disclose information, to probe for and ensure understanding and voluntariness, and to foster adequate decision making” [1].
The principle of beneficence
• One ought to prevent and remove evil or harm
• One ought to do and promote good [1].
The principle of nonmaleficence
“One ought not to inflict evil or harm”, where harm is understood as “thwarting, defeating, or setting back some party’s interests” [1].
The principle of justice
Beauchamp & Childress do not think that a single principle can address all problems of distributive justice [1]. They defend a framework for allocation that incorporates both utilitarian and egalitarian standards. A fair health care system includes two strategies for health care allocation: 1) a utilitarian approach stressing maximal benefit to patients and society, and 2) an egalitarianstrategy emphasising the equal worth of persons and fair opportunity [1].
Table 2: The four basic principles of the common morality. A brief formulation of the four ethical principles: the principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice [1,7,8].
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