Medical Ethics is an important area for everyone that works in the medical field as well as the patients that are receiving medical treatment. These are ethical statements that are adopted by the American Medical Association as a standard of conduct and are set in place for the benefit of the patient. Medical Ethics are not laws but rather standards of conduct for a physician.
The principles of medical ethics give guidelines on honorable behavior of a physician. A physician’s first responsibility should always be to the patient. While treating a patient compassion and respect must be used while giving the best medical care that is available. A physician must always be professional, honest and respect the law at all times. Privacy must be maintained and a physician has a duty to respect the rights of patients and colleagues and report any physicians that are engaging in fraud or deception.
Medical Ethics also safeguards the physician. It enables the physician to be able to choose who they want to treat, who they want to associate with and what environment they want to practice medicine in. The exception to this is if it is an emergency situation. The physician has the freedom to choose. Often times there may be a gray area in medical ethics due to the increased government involvement and many court cases on discrimination.
The government involvement also challenges medical ethics on topics such as placebo surgery, assisted suicide, abortion rights and research volunteers. What one seems as being ethical may not be to another and that is where a lot of problems arise.
Another area of medical ethics that one would not think was included is the physician’s responsibility to participate in the community. This would include activities to improve the community or better public health. They need to show their support for all people to have medical care available to them.
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