Framework for Biomedical Ethics: Principlism
A more practical approach to ethical decision making. Four principles widely used to deal with ethical scenarios:-

  • Autonomy -
    Freedom of the patient to choose and be an advocate for their own health
  • Beneficence -
    What is considered to be of the patient's best interest
  • Non-maleficence -
    A counterbalance to beneficence. All treatments can in some way cause harm. The benefits of certain actions should be balanced against the amount of harm it can do. It has long been considered to be part of a doctor's duty of "first do no harm".
  • Justice -
    Equity and avoidance of unjustifiable discrimination.

In some ways, one might describe it as a combination of consequentialism and deontology; in essence, a rule consequentialism.

  • Autonomy and Justice
    consequentialism in what makes the patient and everyone else happy with the outcome, and societal impacts with regards to the distribution of resources and the overall positive outcome to society.
  • Beneficence and non-maleficence
    to weigh out the benefits and the duty of doing no harm to subsequently consider what is in the patient's best interest.