Principlism Essay

Principlism, especially in the context of bioethics in the United States, has often been critiqued for raising the principle of autonomy to the highest place, such that it trumps all other principles or values. How would you rank the importance of each of the four principles? How do you believe they would be ordered in the context of the Christian biblical narrative? Refer to the topic overview and other topic study materials in your response.


Principlism, also known as the approach of a common principle, involves four bioethics-related ethical principles (Veatch & Guidry, 2019). Justice is the first principle that refers to the fairness practiced in healthcare facilities when it comes to treating patients and their care as well Principlism Essay. Within this principle, fair distribution of resources should be observed when treating patients (De Hoyos & Altamirano, 2015). Beneficence is the second principle that asserts that healthcare professionals are obligated to care for patients in a way that will result in the best outcomes. Practitioners are expected to do what is right regarding the care of their patients (Gillon, 2015). Autonomy is the third principle that requires health practitioners to respect the patient’s decisions and their individualism (Gilbar & Miola, 2015). A nurse is obligated to respect the wishes of a patient as regards the type of treatment the patient agrees or disagrees with. However, a nurse or health practitioner should ensure that all information is available to a patient so that any decisions made by the patient are made from an informed point of view. Non-maleficence is the fourth ethical principle that requires that a healthcare professional be vigilant and conscious when handling patients to cause them no harm Principlism Essay. All possible precautions should be taken, as well as adherence to healthcare policies, on patient protection (Gillon, 2015).

In light of the Biblical perspective, the four ethical principles should be categorized in order of significance as thus: patient autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and lastly, justice. The Bible admonishes believers that they should seek wisdom if they are lacking in it (James 1:5). That implies that God is willing to give personal guidance in everyday situations. That being the case, a person’s decisions regarding the kind of treatment they are willing to undertake or forego should be respected. Of the Ten Commandments, four of these point to the relationship of man with God while the rest point on the relationship of man with man. These commandments can be wrapped up as non-maleficence and beneficence. The Bible from these commandments, states that we should not harm others and instead, by implication, do good to others (Exodus 20). Lastly, justice calls for fairness. The Lord told the Israelites that He does not seek after their sacrifices and observance of numerous feasts. However, He said that He desires that they observe justice and mercy one to another and refrain from oppressing each other (Hosea 6:6)


Bible: Hosea 6:6 NIV “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt … To do righteousness and justice is more desirable to the LORD than sacrifice” Principlism Essay.

Bible: James 1:5 NIV “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

De Hoyos, A., Monteón, Y., & Altamirano‐Bustamante, M. M. (2015). Reexamining Healthcare Justice in the Light of Empirical Data. Bioethics, 29(9), 613-621.

Gilbar, R., & Miola, J. (2015). One size fits all? On patient autonomy, medical decision-making, and the impact of culture. Medical law review, 23(3), 375-399.

Gillon, R. (2015). Defending the four principles approach as a good basis for good medical practice and therefore for good medical ethics. Journal of medical ethics, 41(1), 111-116.

Veatch, R. M., & Guidry-Grimes, L. K. (2019). The basics of bioethics. Routledge. Principlism Essay

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