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a relationship between ethics and medicine

Ideas offer the top ethical issues relating to health care. References also appear.

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Ethical issues begin at the time of diagnosis and include whether to tell patients their diagnosis. Giving a diagnosis can enable patients and families to plan for disability (including application for disability for those who are still employed), help ascertain patients' preferences about treatment and research participation, and facilitate support from family and community organizations. However, this is best done in a supportive setting with adequate time to answer questions and deal with the patient's and family's emotional reaction. Such discussions may include considerations of treatment, course of illness, the nature of the illness, and the availability of various forms of support for the patient and family. Discussions of each person's values and preferences enable appropriate decision-making in clinical situations that might arise later, such as the use of a feeding tube or resuscitative measures. On the other hand, conveying a definite diagnosis or pressing these issues may result in considerable discomfort for patients and families alike, and such issues may need to be raised gradually over the course of continued visits--or be raised only with the family members responsible for patients' ongoing care.
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Another reason for positing a relationship between ethics and medicine arises from the fact that there is a right way and a wrong way of performing any human activity. This is especially true if the activity in question may cause serious harm to other people, if it affects society, or if it involves personal integrity of the practitioner. In health care, some of the ethical norms for "right practice" are intrinsic to the science of medicine itself. That is, they do not depend upon the determination of the individual physician or nurse. "Do no harm" and "receive consent" would be examples of some principles intrinsic to the practice of health care. Principles of this nature arise from the fact that human beings have certain rights and needs that must be respected, especially when they are in need of help. While this might be a step forward, it would not take away from the individual physician or nurse the responsibility of applying these principles with care and concern. In order to do that, some attention must be given to the meaning of the principles of ethics, how the application may vary from one person to another, and what to do when there is a conflict of principles. In other words, memorizing a ...

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The relationship between ethics and medicine is discussed thoroughly.