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According to deontological ethics/Kantianism, the morality of an action is based on the

action's adherence to rules and states that there are absolute rights that cannot be violated even if
the most overall good would be produced. Thus, this ethical theory has its ultimate standard in
one's internal duty (involves not only morals but also duty and justice). This theory can be
viewed in light of the moral rule "do unto others as you would be done by." In this example, the
parents of a severely mentally handicapped boy want the best for their son. Rather than
institutionalizing him, they care for him at home and even send him to a school for mentally
handicapped children a few hours a day. However, because the boy has started biting his siblings
and other kids at school, the parents are required by the school to muzzle the boy or risk having
their son discharged. Rather than having the boy wear a muzzle, they decide that he should have
all his anterior teeth extracted. Although the consequence of extracting the boy's teeth would
solve the problem of his harming other kids at school and his siblings, the deontological theory
states that "the consequences of an action are irrelevant to moral assessment." The dentist is
morally obligated to not extract the teeth because they are in pristine condition and extracting
them would be detrimental to the boy's oral health (extraction is justified when it is done to
restore function or improve esthetics, but here it is for the purpose of preventing the teeth from
being used to harm others and this does not even include the rationale of why a muzzle is not
used). Although the extractions may be seen as necessary for the therapeutic interest of others,
the case can be treated by giving the child a muzzle so by having the teeth extracted, the dentist
is violating the physical integrity of the human body rather than having the patient's best interest
in mind. According to the deontological theory, a dentist should adhere to his obligations to the
patient when in an ethical dilemma about whether or not to treat a patient because upholding his
duty is what is ethically correct. The rightness of an act comes from the act itself rather than
from the consequences of the act. In this case, although the consequences of extracting the teeth
would benefit the kids and siblings who might otherwise continue to be bitten by the boy, the
deontological theory does not take into consideration the consequences in deciding whether an
act is right. Here, the act of extracting teeth that are pristine is wrong on the basis that it is the
dentist's obligation to do what is in the best interest of the patient according to his duty as a
dentist. Since the dentist would internally not want others to extract all his teeth that are in
pristine condition, his moral standards should cause him to also act accordingly. The dentist
should act as if what he does will become universal law or the norm, and the act of extracting
pristine teeth is not a norm that the dentist would abide by for his patients. A weakness of this
theory is that it does not provide resolution of conflicts among two or more moral persons who
profoundly disagree (in this case, conflicting interest of the parents and the dentist, both of whom
are moral in wanting to do what's best for those involved with the boy or the boy himself).
According to teleological theory, "duty or moral obligation is derived from what is good
or desirable as an end to be achieved." In contrast to deontological ethics where the standards
for one's actions being morally right do not depend on whether good or evil is generated as a
result of the action, the teleological theory states that the rightness of an action is dependent
on the outcome generated. Utilitarianism, a form of consequentialism, is an example of a
teleological theory. From a consequentialist standpoint, performing a morally right act or
omitting such an act depends on whether a good outcome will be produced (if the end goal is
morally important enough, it does not matter what method is used to achieve it. In the case of
the mentally handicapped boy, the consequence of extracting all his anterior teeth is that the
boy would be unable to use his teeth bite and cause pain to his siblings and other kids at school.
Another consequence is that the school would be unable to discharge the boy on the grounds
of him hurting other kids because he would have no anterior teeth to bite other kids. Given that
the outcome is good (with the norm encompassing maximizing the sum of pleasure for all who
are affected by the act) regardless of whether the act itself is morally right, the teleological
theory would warrant the extraction of the pristine teeth in the boy.