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Ethics in Medicine

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Ethics in Medicine:
The Moral Compass

Introduction to Health Care
02/16/15
Morals are the compass each of us have inside of us that help us to make decisions. They guide towards good and evil, or right and wrong. The thing that makes morals so unique and interesting is that no two compasses are exactly the same just as no two people are the same. The health care industry is probably one of the most praised and criticized industries for its moral compass. If we look solely at the topic of abortion from a moral standpoint the spectrum of beliefs is very wide. This paper will discuss four different moral principles and compare them. The first moral principle is beneficence. Beneficence is defined as “acts of mercy, kindness, and charity.”(1) It can also mean to, “Refer to an action done to benefit others”(1). In terms of medicine this means to do all that you can do to your patients. This principle is unique because how do you define what a benefit to another is. For example physician assisted suicide for example is a benefit to the person who is ill. But what is the benefit to the child or parent whom is left behind. Let’s say someone has ALS, the prognosis is terminal. They are going to die from this disease because the fluid will continue to build in their lungs and eventually they will stop breathing. Now if that person who is suffering tremendously with their illness can benefit and not suffer anymore isn’t the physician helping them? Or is the physician allowing a person to take the easy way out instead of playing the hand they were dealt until the end? I view beneficence to be all about perspective. In life perspective is truth and if you feel that you are doing what is right regardless of what others think, shouldn’t you do it? The hard part is that perspective is looking at an event before it happens, it’s the crystal ball, and you…...

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