I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.
Briefly describe the following concepts of the ethical principles apply when working with communities: ethics, ethical dilemmas, principle of autonomy, beneficence, and justice. Use an (ONE) example which applies to one of these concepts.
- Ethics is the study of conduct and moral judgments.
- Ethical dilemmas exist where there is a conflict between the standards of conduct and moral judgments of individuals, groups, or the individual and those of society as a whole.
- Principle of Autonomy (the right to self-government)
- Beneficence (protect and defend the rights of others, prevent evil or harm to others, remove evil or harm to others, rescue those in danger, help those with disabilities, promote the common good)
- Justice (to each person an equal share, to each person according to need, to each person according to effort, to each person according to contribution, to each person according to merit, to each person according to free-market exchanges)
Expert Solution Preview
Ethics is the study of conduct and moral judgments. It involves examining and understanding the principles and values that guide human behavior and decision-making. Ethics help us differentiate right from wrong and determine what is morally acceptable or unacceptable.
Ethical dilemmas occur when individuals or groups face situations where there is a conflict between different ethical principles or moral judgments. These dilemmas often involve difficult choices, where one’s actions may result in harm or negative consequences for others. Resolving ethical dilemmas requires careful consideration of different perspectives and values involved.
The principle of autonomy refers to the right of individuals to make their own decisions and govern their own lives. It emphasizes respecting the independence and self-determination of individuals. In healthcare, this principle enables patients to have control over their own bodies and allows them to make informed choices regarding their medical treatment.
An example of the principle of autonomy would be a patient refusing a recommended treatment, such as chemotherapy for cancer. Even though the healthcare provider believes it is in the patient’s best interest, the principle of autonomy grants the patient the right to make decisions about their own body and healthcare.
Beneficence is the ethical principle that focuses on promoting the well-being and welfare of others. It involves taking actions that protect and defend the rights of others, prevent harm, and promote the common good. Beneficence requires healthcare professionals to act in the best interest of their patients.
For example, a doctor prescribing medication to alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for a terminally ill patient reflects the principle of beneficence. By providing the necessary treatment, the doctor aims to prevent suffering and promote the patient’s well-being.
Justice relates to fairness and equal treatment for all individuals. It involves the distribution of resources, opportunities, and benefits in a fair and equitable manner. The principle of justice ensures that all individuals have equal access to healthcare services and receive treatment based on their needs and circumstances.
An example of justice in the context of healthcare would be the allocation of organs for transplantation. When organs become available for transplant, they are allocated based on objective criteria, such as medical urgency and compatibility, rather than subjective factors like social status or wealth. This ensures that each person has an equal opportunity to receive a transplant based on their need.
In summary, ethics explores the principles and values that guide human behavior and decision-making. Ethical dilemmas arise when conflicts between different moral judgments occur. The principles of autonomy, beneficence, and justice play vital roles in healthcare ethics, ensuring individual rights, promoting well-being, and ensuring fairness and equal treatment for all.