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Four Beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

In the face of a silent universe with no absolute answers, Arendt believes only examination of the self in relation to others leads to moral codes of behavior. Thus, the director must examine his own moral code of the self and in relation to other people across all these criteria for each potential ICU patient to be admitted.

Many would argue that Arendt's moral theory argues that we go around doing what we please, regardless of the consequences, because we have some higher moral knowledge that makes us know we are right. She is not. She is arguing that we are all alone in the world, and the moral code we choose to adopt cannot come from some absolute source. The only source any human can use to devise such a code is their own logic, thinking and experiences. Arendt argues that there is only thinking, or a lack of it, that affects the right or wrong of a human's actions. From this view not all social norms or morals are viewed as valid, either. Thus, the director will have to use his thinking and experiences that makeup his moral code and apply it to all these criteria each time a potential patient is admitted to the ICU. In this view, should the director err in his decisions, he would be doing so because of being thoughtless not poorly intentioned or evil.

The utilitarian theory, in brief, holds that the maximization of good, or benefits, should be pursued. Happiness or pleasure are posited in this theory as intrinsically good and are, therefore, worthy of active pursuit. The utilitarian movement began with the work of Jeremy Bentham. Bentham believed that the greatest happiness of all those whose interest is in question is the right and proper end of human action. In any society, the goals of the society should be focused on developing systems which will enable individuals to achieve this 'greate


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Four Beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:13, August 23, 2017, from
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