Introduction to Ethics in the Healthcare Setting

The doctrine of double effect says that the pursuit of good is not as acceptable if the harm that results is intended rather than merely foreseen (Lippert-Rasmussen, 2010). To some it is a nonabsolutist moral principle in which as long as significant good resulted from the action, it is allowable (Lippert-Ramussen, 2010). Scanlon believed that an act that leads to the death of an innocent person can never be justified by the good that results (Lippert-Ramussen, 2010). Scanlon’s beliefs will be the focus of this assignment.


  1. Read the article by Lippert-Ramussen, “Scanlon on the Doctrine of Double Effect.” After reading the article, respond to the questions listed below.
  2. Define the Doctrine of Double Effect.
  3. Provide a brief summary of Scanlon’s view on the doctrine.
  4. Discuss the scenario of either the drug shortage or organ shortage found in the article.
  • What is the scenario?
  • How does this demonstrate the Doctrine of Double Effect?
  • Do you agree with the action taken? If not, what could have been done?
  • What was Scanlon’s view on the scenario?

Assignment Expectations

  1. You will be expected to provide a scholarly basis for your response.
  2. Your opinions must be justified with evidence from the literature.
  3. References should be cited properly in the text of your essay (either in parentheses or as footnotes), as well as at the end.
  4. Please support your discussions with scholarly support (3-5 references). Be sure to properly cite all references.
  5. Be sure to apply critical thinking skills to the assignment components stated above- especially #3.

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