In the scenario presented, three ethical schools are applicable in providing the best solution(s). The three ethical schools include consequentialist theory, deontological theory and virtue theory. Consequentialist/utilitarian school of thought considers the end of an action, deontological school of thought considers the motive of an action, and virtue theory considers whether the action conforms to what is right.
Coming back to the scenario in question, the decision made by the court has the full backing of ethics. This is because the virtue theory, for instance, evaluates the kind of life an individual wants to live before determining the morality of an action or decision. In the case at hand, the girl’s parents aspire to be good parents. However, the aspiration to be good parents was not consistent with their drug addiction behavior. After realizing drug addiction was standing in their way to being good parents, the girl’s natural parents underwent rehabilitation so that they could eliminate the one vice that prevented them from being good care givers. Although the young has already developed a strong affection for her foster parents, who love her unconditionally as their own daughter, this should not be used as an excuse to prevent the natural parents from raising their daughter because they have shown the will to confront their challenges to better their lives.
In addition, the court’s decision is supported by deontological ethics. Ethically, parents are required to take care of their own children. It is the duty of the parents to bring up their young ones. Now that the real parents have been rehabilitated from drugs, the court should not have any objection to the request made by the parents. Raising one’s children is a primary value, and the state cannot take away this right because it is inconsistent with the wishes of a majority of its citizens. The primary reason why the young girl had been taken away was because the natural parents were involved in drugs, and the court was satisfied that the real parents could no longer take adequate care of the young one. Now that the parents have been rehabilitated, they can still continue to raise their daughter.
The two solutions adopted are similar in that the primary goal is the best interests of the young girl. However, the solutions are different in that virtue ethics considers the character of the parents while deontological ethics is concerned with the motive of the action. Nevertheless, both solutions prescribe the same thing but through different means.
Aristotle would have approved a decision that would be consistent with the virtue theory. This is because Aristotle considers the set of values that an individual aspires, and eliminates the vices that distract him/her from achieving those aspirations. Although the young girl’s parents were drug addicts, they underwent rehabilitation and they can now take care of their daughter. Drug addiction in this case was the vice that prevented them from achieving their goal: that of raising their daughter. The set of values that the parents aspire in this case is to be good parents to their children. After undergoing drug rehabilitation, the behavior of the natural parents is now consistent with moral behavior.
In retrospect, the schools of ethics used to support the decision made by the court are worth to be used in real life dilemmas. In life, there are many instances that call upon the application of ethics. Decisions have to be made day in and day out. Each of the decisions has an ethical perspective to it, and options have to be weighed before making the right decision.
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