Kant's Deontological Theory

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According to Kant’s Deontological theory, it would be morally permissible to institute an opt-out policy for cadaveric organ donation. Kant’s Deontological theory is formulated from the Categorical Imperative (CI), also known as the Principle of Practical Reason. The CI is based on a fundamental principle that states that moral actions “ought” to be carried out if the intention behind that action is what is ‘right’. That is, moral actions are “discerned by reason”, regardless of the consequences that arise from the action. The principle also considers that such moral actions are imperative since human beings have desires, predispositions and deviate from being “perfectly rational”. The CI provides theorists with two fundamental formulae:…show more content…
In the case given the maxim would state: “I will opt-out from the cadaveric organ donation should I feel it is necessary”. The universal law would then state: “All people will opt-out from the cadaveric organ donation when they feel it is necessary”. The universalised law allows the above mentioned moral rule for the opt-out policy to apply to everyone – where no person is given special treatment. To live in such a world where people would be given the opportunity to choose to opt-out of cadaveric organ donation would not be self-defeating. In other words, all rational people will choose to either partake in the donation or not to; resulting in no “Contradiction of Conception”. Similarly, the “Contradiction of the Will” is absent because rational people would not mind living in a world with the option of opting-out from the cadaveric organ donation without any obligation to always opt-out. According to Kant’s CI, this would imply that society can freely perform the maxim. Given that the above maxim is neither self-defeating nor will it result in an undesirable world, society can, according to Kant, freely perform this maxim. That is, Kant would approve of instituting the opt-out

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