10 Sep 2022


Normative Theories: Everything You Need to Know

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An ethical dilemma may refer to a situation that may often create an apparent conflict within the mind of an individual and between their moral imperatives in which obeying the case would result in transgressing another person’s reputation. Moral imperatives can be referred to as the strongly felt guidelines that can compel a person to make some actions towards their problems. Immanuel Kant took it to be a dictate of pure reasoning and as a theoretical aspect. He also stated that the moral law was seen to be self-defeating and thus contrary to his argument. I seek to explain the position I would take to handle the situation at hand of discovering my daughter’s grade school teacher has been prescribed antipsychotic medication and considering her condition at hand. I would also relate the recommendation that would have been made by a deontologist Immanuel Kant and the possible recommendation of a consequentiality like John Stuart Mill. I would later justify my decision on what to do next and how to carry out myself after making such discoveries. Before discussing this, I would briefly describe the underlying condition Schizophrenia siting its causes, symptoms and the possible remedies (Bordum, 2005). 

Schizophrenia is a condition can be described as a severe and a chronic mental disorder that in most instances affect how an individual feels, what they think and how they carry out themselves whether when relating with other people or when alone. In most cases, the affected individuals may seem to have lost touch with reality, and in most cases, they don’t believe in themselves or their actions or their activities. It is important to note that however much this condition is not as common as the other mental disorders its symptoms can be very much disabling to the affected individuals and those around them 

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Those affected by the condition named earlier can present with several symptoms which can be categorized in three different ways depending on how the individual can be observed . The manifestations may be positive that is they may present as psychotic. These symptoms are not seen in those who are in their usual state of health, and the affected individuals may lose touch with the reality. Its symptoms may include hallucinations and thinking disorders. On the other hand, the negative impacts may have disruptions to normal behavior and emotions of an individual. 

The cognitive symptoms may be more severe for some people than it is for other people. In most cases, they tend to cause some changes regarding their memory and thinking capacity, and at the end, these individuals may end up having poor executive reasoning. This refers to the ability to understand the information being relayed and make the necessary decisions as it would be expected of them. The individuals may also have a challenge in paying attention and thus nothing good would come out when discussing or having a conversation with them as they would not concentrate on you. The individuals may also have problems comprehending what they have learnt or heard thus they may not be able to use the information that they gain immediately. 

Several remedies can be offered to this condition so that at least those affected can have some feeling of worth. Among them include the use of antipsychotic drugs which are usually given in pills or liquid form daily or some cases the affected individuals may be given injections. The medications may have several side effects on the users some of which may go after. The observed side effects may end after a short period. According to the above-described condition, should I find the information that a teacher to my daughter has schizophrenia and that she is likely to suffer from the above-described symptoms I would breach the ethical standards of keeping medical information as confident as much as possible? 

Having in mind and also knowing a possible way that the affected individuals may carry out themselves, at some points I would share the information with some parents whose children goes to the same school to find a possible solution. However much the teacher may be under medication to help curb the situation the symptoms may not work well with a child who is highly eager to learn. It is also important to note if children are exposed to such conditions for long they may as well end up to have small thinking capacity about what they may observe from their teacher. 

Regarding this matter deontologist, for example, Immanuel Kant would come up with certain recommendations which would at least give some directions. According to Kant, he believed that some types of actions for example lying were unethical and hence there was no need of doing it. His categorical imperative deontological theory can have a meaning that there are some scientific and ethical guidelines which offer directives in the world. In other words, such philosophers believe that each has a duty to act in certain ways which are by moral laws. In his theory, he states that each is fundamentally capable of reasoning in the same manner and on the same level (Dyson, 2003). 

One of the major points of Kantian states that you must never treat another human being to an end. According to Kant one of the core aspects of this theory is the concept of intent which states that the actual outcome of a particular consequence did not matter at all but it was the intent that mattered. Relating this theory to the above-stated dilemma , it would not be able to give out the information to the other individual since she is under medication the condition would end. 

This approach in most cases looks more carefully into an individual and the choices which they make in life rather than the outcome of what they may be doing. In the above case where the mother finds out that her daughter’s teacher is under medication for schizophrenia which the issue of what she does either breaching the confidentiality does matter much but his actual actions. Her reaction towards the medical records that she comes across according to Kant could have got nothing to do with her daughter’s studies, and therefore he should have ignored them. 

According to the moral dilemma that the mother of the girl may have towards the teacher a consequentialist like John Stuart would also come up with his recommendations which could help to understand the situation better. As the name suggests in the view that normative properties depend only on the consequences (Shafer-Landau, 2012). It can be applied in various aspects of normative properties, and its outstanding example is the moral rightness of the act. In this law, it may be stated that whether an individual’s action is morally right, it would only depend on their consequences of that action, for example, the motive as to why they do so or the general rule which would have pushed them to do so. 

It is important to note that consequentialism is controversial as the many consequentialists have different views that all depends on how one carries out their roles while respecting the right of other people, and giving God the obedience that He deserves at the same time obeying nature, one’s own heart and self-actualization. 

According to the above-discussed philosophies, I would have a different view on how to handle the issue. First, however much I may be disturbed by thinking of what my daughter may pass through in the hands of her class teacher, it would not be better to breach the medical ethics by releasing such information to those who are not involved. Even after coming across that medical information it would not be my business to discuss the situation with parents whose children goes to the same school. The consequences of giving out such information to a non-involved party would make the teacher even to lose her job temporarily or even permanently. This would not show my respect to both God and the individual. 


Bordum, A. (2005). Immanuel Kant, Jürgen Habermas and the categorical imperative. Philosophy & social criticism, 31(7), 851-8744 

Dyson, R. W. (2003). Normative theories of society and government in five medieval thinkers: St. Augustine, John of Salisbury, Giles of Rome, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Marsilius of Padua (Vol. 21). Edwin Mellen Press. 

Shafer-Landau, R. (Ed.). (2012). Ethical Theory: an Anthology (Vol. 13). John Wiley & Sons. 

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