Ethical Issues in Healthcare

Topics: Ethics, Health care, Medicine Pages: 4 (1197 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Ethics Issues in Healthcare

Technological and scientific advancement have become areas of great exponential change in the last century. The reverberations of this change is seen throughout nearly all aspects of human life from social evolution to the dynamics of education. Perhaps the most relevant alterations to humanity overall has been seen in areas concerning health, and our biological lives as humans in modernized cultures. The advancements in technology and science have directly translated into the rise of efficiency of healthcare, namely in the medicinal functions that assist people in overcoming illness or disease. As a result, a dramatic impact has been made on the average duration of life; a change that has given rise to significant amount of new social and ethical encounters. In this essay, I will focus on those areas concerning palliative care, euthanasia, and doctor prescribed suicide, in relation to their ethical framework.

When pondering the ethical nature of specific acts in healthcare, one of the more obvious choices to begin assessment is with the American Medical Associations Code of Ethics. This code of ethics are not lawful requirements, but rather a standard of conduct that illustrates the behavior expected by physicians and/or those in the medical field (AMA COE, 2013). Concerning medical assistance in the act of catalyzing death, the code of ethics seems to remain relatively ambiguous. The overall expectation, according to the code, is that patients are provided the best available care, and that those providing care should uphold the dedication to do so with the patients best interest in mind (AMA COE, 2013). The argument can be made that under the choice of the patient, choosing a painless medical death over suffering the symptoms of an incurable, or terminal disease could still be considered acceptable under the medical care illustrated by the code of ethics, which I tend to side with. However, one could also interpret the code of...

Bibliography: BBC Ethics Guide (BBC) (copyright 2012) Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/
euthanasia/
Ashley Portero, August 31 2012. (“Death With Dignity”) Retrieved from: http://
www.ibtimes.com/death-dignity-doctor-prescribed-suicide-terminally-ill-may-soon-be-way-diemassachusetts-760589
AMA 's Code of Medical Ethics (AMA COE) (copyright 1995-2013). Retrieved from: http://
www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics.page
Right to the Life of Michigan (copyright 2013) Retrieved from: http://www.rtl.org/prolife_issues/
euthanasia.html
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