Medical Ethics Overview
Medical ethics is more than just a way of behaving for medical professionals. It’s actually the process of studying the moral problems that doctors have to deal with when treating real patients. Those decisions are important because they affect a person’s life and the quality of life for patients.
- Medical Ethics Physician Resources: Provides links to multiple sites pertaining to medical ethics.
- BMC Medical Ethics: A journal filled with medical ethics articles and essays.
- Medical Ethics Resource Databases: A list of links to many sites and databases with medical ethics information.
Issues in Medical Ethics
The issues faced in the medical field are quite serious. It deals with issues such as fertility and morality. Is artificial insemination religiously acceptable? Is it morally right to reduce the number of babies in the case of a multiple pregnancy? There are also issues surrounding the care of children. When should certain procedures be performed? Age is very important when dealing with children because their bodies are changing and growing. Making the wrong choice can hurt a child’s growth. Issues about abortion also fall into the category.
There are also issues pertaining to the death of a patient. Doctors have to consider a patient’s last wishes when it comes to comas. They have to be able to make moral decisions about brain death and they often have to prepare a family for the death of a loved one. Many are also charged with pain management for patients who are terminally ill and suffering. Organ transplants are also a touchy subject because organs are rare and valuable. Sometimes, doctors have to make a choice as to who should get an organ, even when the person doesn’t have a family.
Then there are issues relating to a patient’s care. Disabled patients’; wishes have to be taken into consideration but their actual capacity to decide has to be considered too. The care of older patients is also a concern. The medical ethics field is quite large and complex so even the best doctors can sometimes make mistakes.
- Medical Issues In Genetics : Article that outlines the medical issues in the genetics field.
- Ethical Issues of Fertility and Reproduction: Link to an article that outlines the biggest issues with fertility.
- Pediatric Ethics: Provides information and discussions about pediatric ethics.
- Physician-Assisted Suicide: Discusses the ethics of assisted suicide.
- Brain Death: Outlines the ethics surrounding brain death.
- Scientific Research Epics: Points out all the issues that go along with research.
- Disability and Decision-Making Capacity Ethics: Touches on the ethics of deciding someone’s capacity to make decisions.
- Organ Transplant Ethics: Discusses organ transplants.
- Long Term Care Issues: Outlines the issues long term care present.
- Health Reform: Focuses on the issues currently under debate.
- Alternative Medicine: Touches on the ethics of different subjects including alternative medicine.
- Ethical Issues in Pharmaceutical Drug Pricing: Article that discusses the ethics of drug pricing.
- Ethical Perspectives on Pain and Suffering: Narrative Ethics: Outlines the ethics of pain and suffering.
- The Body Theory: Discusses the body in theory.
Culture, Religion & Medical Ethics
Religion also plays a part in medical ethics. There are many religions that don’t allow abortions or allow people to be taken off life support. Birth rites often vary from culture to culture. For instance, Jewish babies are circumcised and Islamic babies have prayers whispered in their ears. Death rites can be different as well. Those who believe in smaller, less well-known religions have to be consulted on almost any treatment.
- Issues in Islamic Medical Ethics: Provides information about medical ethics.
- Medical Ethics In Islam: Extensive guide to show how the Islamic faith affects medical treatment.
- Buddhism and Medicine: Discusses Buddhism and medicine.
- Medicine in Buddhist and Jaina Traditions: Shows how the Buddhist faith and medicine is related.
- Christian Principles: Outlines the principles that many Christians hold to when getting treated.
- Judaism and Ethics: Shows many ethical subjects from a Jewish perspective.
Medical Ethics Codes and Policies
There are set medical ethical codes and policies that doctors have to follow. Without them, doctors would have no guide and no idea how to conduct themselves in tense situations. Many doctor’s offices and hospitals may also have their own individual codes. It’s very important that doctors follow these codes so that they do not harm a patient or accidentally cause their death.
- Code of Ethics: Outlines common codes of ethics.
- Medical Ethics: Provides links to multiple other pages on medical ethics.
The medical and legal fields often overlap. There are many laws relating specifically to a doctor’s conduct. Doctors are required to follow these laws. If they fail, they may be tried in a legal case or a civil case. There are some gray areas so doctors often need a lawyer’s help to navigate when it comes to the ethics issues. One of the most recent ways the medical world and law world have intersected has been on the subject of whether medical marijuana should be legal or not.
- Law and Medical Ethics: Provides good information on the subject.
- Oxford MedLaw Journals: Many articles that explore how the medical world and law world connect.
- Medical Law Links: Provides links to pages with information about medical law.
- MA Medical Law and Ethics: Deals with subjects relating to medical law.
- California Medical Marijuana Information: Information about the case for and against medical marijuana.