Category:Medical ethics

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Non-maleficence 
"first, do no harm" (Primum non nocere).
Beneficence 
a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient. (Salus aegroti suprema lex.)
Autonomy 
the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment. (Voluntas aegroti suprema lex.)
Justice 
concerns the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment.
Dignity 
the patient (and the person treating the patient) have the right to dignity.
Truthfulness and honesty 
the patient should not be lied to, and deserves to know the whole truth about their illness and treatment (though certain exceptions are made for the proper use of placebos).

The first four items were defined in the four principles approach, developed in the 1970s in America[1] and extended to Europe in the 1980s.[2] When applying these principles, it is not unusual to find that they may conflict - the patient may choose a treatment which is likely to harm them, for example, causing a conflict between the "do no harm" and autonomy principles. The fashion recently has been to allow autonomy to "trump" other principles, but this is not necessarily the best approach.[3]

References

  1. Beauchamp T, Childress J. Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Fifth edition Oxford: Oxford University Press,2001
  2. Gillon R. Philosophical Medical Ethics. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons, 1986
  3. Foster C. Autonomy should chair, not rule. Lancet 2010;375(9712):368-369

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Pages in category "Medical ethics"

The following 77 pages are in this category, out of 77 total.

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