Essay on Medical Ethics - Physician Non-Intervention Analytical Essay

Essay on Medical Ethics - Physician Non-Intervention
A discussion on the principles of medical ethics.
# 128836 | 2,689 words | 21 sources | MLA | 2010 | AU
Published on Aug 15, 2010 in Medical and Health (Medical Studies) , Hot Topics (Euthanasia) , Ethics (General)

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This is an essay on medical ethics and attempts to analyse a patient's particular case who wishes to end her life, utilizing the four ethical principles as outlined. Significance is given to the perspectives of the patient, the physician and the community as a whole. The paper finally proposes a preferred outcome and demonstrates through argument that the preferred course of action in this situation is to allow the patient to end her life.

From the Paper:

"Whilst autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice may be regarded as the four ethical pillar stones of modern-day medical practice, the way in which these concepts at times contradict one another in clinical scenarios, can indeed confound the very same clinical decision-making processes they were devised to govern. A similar conflict in ethical principles can be seen in the case of Susan, who became a quadriplegic following a car accident and wishes to end her life due to its low quality, through refusing all nutrition and requesting the non-intervention of her physician.
"This paper will attempt to analyse Susan's case utilising these four ethical principles, with significance being given to the perspectives of the patient, the physician and the community as a whole. The paper will ultimately propose a preferred outcome should be followed for this scenario in alignment with the ethical principles - indeed, whether the physician should abide by Susan's wishes or not."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Beauchamp T, Childress J. Principles of biomedical ethics. USA: Oxford University Press; 1994
  • Freegard H. Ethics in a nutshell. In: Freegard H. Editor. Ethical Practice for Health Professionals. South Melbourne: Thomson; 2007
  • Clarke DM. Autonomy, rationality and the wish to die. J Med Ethics 1999; 25(6):457-62
  • Kerridge I, Lowe M, McPhee J. Ethics and Law for the Health Professions. 2nd ed. London: Federation Press; 2005
  • Savulescu J. The trouble with do-gooders: the example of suicide. J Med Ethics 1997; 23:108-15

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