Medical ethics

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Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.

History[edit | edit source]

The origins of medical ethics can be traced back to the Hippocratic Oath, which is still sworn by doctors today. This oath, written in ancient Greece, set out rules for medical practice and established a code of conduct for physicians.

Principles[edit | edit source]

There are four key principles in medical ethics, which are often known as the "four principles" of medical ethics. These are:

  • Autonomy: The patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment.
  • Beneficence: A practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient.
  • Non-maleficence: "First, do no harm."
  • Justice: Concerns the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment.

Issues[edit | edit source]

Medical ethics covers a wide range of moral dilemmas, including:

  • Euthanasia: The ethics of ending a life to ease suffering.
  • Abortion: The ethics of ending a pregnancy.
  • Stem cell research: The ethics of using human embryos in research.
  • Informed consent: The ethics of ensuring patients understand the risks and benefits of treatments.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Medical ethics Resources
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