Medical Ethics Theories and Principles
Programme aims <ul><li>Definition of Medical Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of Ethics in Medical Practice </li></ul><ul><l...
Objectives <ul><li>Within small groups and by using case based material you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>1)Recognise...
“ Patients are entitled to good standards of practice and care from their doctors.Essential elements of this are professio...
Importance of Medical Ethics <ul><li>1.  Increasing profileRecent press headlines: </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Cox (euthanasia) <...
Importance of Ethical Issues (contd.) <ul><li>2)Increase in technology </li></ul><ul><li>3)Better informed society </li></...
Scope of ethics in Medical Practice <ul><li>Historical background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hippocratic oath </li></ul></ul><u...
Four Misconceptions <ul><li>Clear distinction :clinical and ethical analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Clear distinction: profess....
DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES <ul><li>Some principles are  intrinsically  right </li></ul><ul><li>regardless of resulting consequ...
Principles <ul><li>Beneficence </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Maleficence </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Truth tellin...
Beneficence and Non-Maleficence <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>1)Is the patient your only concern? </li></ul><ul><li...
3 constraints on Beneficence <ul><li>Need to respect autonomy-patient and doctor may differ re. Management </li></ul><ul><...
Autonomy <ul><li>Capacity  to think, decide, take action </li></ul><ul><li>Mental incompetence= no autonomy </li></ul><ul>...
Truth Telling “In much wisdom is much grief:and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrows” (Ecclesiastics 1,18)
Truth telling (cont) If you override it you endanger doctor/patient relationship(based on trust) You offend against the pr...
The case for deception is founded on three fallacies <ul><li>Hippocratic obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a position t...
Confidentiality <ul><li>Act against this principle and you destroy patient’s trust </li></ul><ul><li>Clash –when keeping c...
Against <ul><li>Layman unable to cope with data </li></ul><ul><li>Opinions not facts cause anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Third...
For <ul><li>Data belongs to patient </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy improved by sharing </li></ul>
Access to Records <ul><li>Data Protection Act (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>What records are covered? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it...
Exceptions to Medical Confidentiality <ul><li>Pt gives written and valid consent </li></ul><ul><li>To other participating ...
Preservation of Life <ul><li>At what stage does human life begin?-coil, pill  </li></ul><ul><li>Can we assess another pers...
Euthanasia <ul><li>Active:  an active intervention to end life </li></ul><ul><li>Passive :deliberately withholding treatme...
Other Moral doctrines <ul><li>Acts and Omissions Doctrine -held by those who believe that  passive  euthanasia is  not  ki...
Living Wills <ul><li>Patient unconsciousseverely mentally disabled , and two docs agree it unlikely he will be able to com...
Justice <ul><li>How to allocate scarce healthcare resources? </li></ul><ul><li>Medical need </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Bene...
Contaception and Minors <ul><li>Jane aged 15 yrs requests the OCP </li></ul><ul><li>Her mum phones you the next day </li><...
Lord Fraser’s reccomendations <ul><li>The doctor should assess whether the patient understands hisher advice </li></ul><ul...
4th Year- Case history <ul><li>A 25 yr old lady comes to the treatment room requesting syringes.She is a lesbian and wishe...
Duties of a Doctor Please apply ethical principles to the above list as described in “Good Medical Practice”
Truth Telling Video clip <ul><li>How much information should be given to patients preoperatively? </li></ul><ul><li>When/h...
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Medical Ethics

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Medical Ethics

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  1. 1. Medical Ethics Theories and Principles
  2. 2. Programme aims <ul><li>Definition of Medical Ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Scope of Ethics in Medical Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Theories and principles </li></ul><ul><li>Duties of a Doctor </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives <ul><li>Within small groups and by using case based material you will be able to: </li></ul><ul><li>1)Recognise ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>2)Recognise ethical conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>3)Practice verbal reasoning skills </li></ul><ul><li>4)Be aware of own and others moral values </li></ul>
  4. 4. “ Patients are entitled to good standards of practice and care from their doctors.Essential elements of this are professional competence, good relationships with patients and colleagues and observance of professional ethical obligations.” From Good Medical Practice, GMC.
  5. 5. Importance of Medical Ethics <ul><li>1. Increasing profileRecent press headlines: </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Cox (euthanasia) </li></ul><ul><li>Alder hay Enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Jodie and Mary </li></ul><ul><li>Destroying frozen embryos </li></ul><ul><li>Refusal to fund marrow transplants ew drugs </li></ul>
  6. 6. Importance of Ethical Issues (contd.) <ul><li>2)Increase in technology </li></ul><ul><li>3)Better informed society </li></ul><ul><li>4)Doctors in Management </li></ul><ul><li>5)Public scrutiny </li></ul>
  7. 7. Scope of ethics in Medical Practice <ul><li>Historical background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hippocratic oath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geneva(1947) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sydney(1968) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tokyo(1975) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lisbon(1981) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multidisciplinary nature </li></ul>
  8. 8. Four Misconceptions <ul><li>Clear distinction :clinical and ethical analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Clear distinction: profess. and everyday ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Enshrined in lead </li></ul><ul><li>Medical ethics=matter of opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Doctor X is considering whether or not to break a confidence. </li></ul><ul><li>Patient has presented with an STD which he wishes to have treated confidentially.His wife is also your patient.What do you do? </li></ul>
  9. 9. DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES <ul><li>Some principles are intrinsically right </li></ul><ul><li>regardless of resulting consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>CONSEQUENTIALIST THEORIES </li></ul><ul><li>Consequence alone determines right and wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>- greatest happiness of the greatest number. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Principles <ul><li>Beneficence </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Maleficence </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Truth telling </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation of Life </li></ul><ul><li>Justice </li></ul>
  11. 11. Beneficence and Non-Maleficence <ul><li>Questions: </li></ul><ul><li>1)Is the patient your only concern? </li></ul><ul><li>(possible conflict with utility) </li></ul><ul><li>2)Do we always know what is good for the patient? </li></ul><ul><li>(patient’s view may differ from ours) </li></ul>
  12. 12. 3 constraints on Beneficence <ul><li>Need to respect autonomy-patient and doctor may differ re. Management </li></ul><ul><li>Need to ensure health is not bought at too high a price </li></ul><ul><li>Need to consider rights of others </li></ul>
  13. 13. Autonomy <ul><li>Capacity to think, decide, take action </li></ul><ul><li>Mental incompetence= no autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy –v-Paternalism </li></ul><ul><li>When patient not autonomous –no clash. When patient autonomous-questionable procedure </li></ul>
  14. 14. Truth Telling “In much wisdom is much grief:and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrows” (Ecclesiastics 1,18)
  15. 15. Truth telling (cont) If you override it you endanger doctor/patient relationship(based on trust) You offend against the principle of autonomy(Dr.C Mooreland) At times there are good reasons for overriding the truth telling principle
  16. 16. The case for deception is founded on three fallacies <ul><li>Hippocratic obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Not in a position to know the truth </li></ul><ul><li>Patients do not want the truth if the news is bad </li></ul>
  17. 17. Confidentiality <ul><li>Act against this principle and you destroy patient’s trust </li></ul><ul><li>Clash –when keeping confidentiality would harm others eg child abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Should patients have access to their notes? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Against <ul><li>Layman unable to cope with data </li></ul><ul><li>Opinions not facts cause anxiety </li></ul><ul><li>Third party information </li></ul><ul><li>Defensive medicine </li></ul>
  19. 19. For <ul><li>Data belongs to patient </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy improved by sharing </li></ul>
  20. 20. Access to Records <ul><li>Data Protection Act (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>What records are covered? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it matter when the record was made? </li></ul><ul><li>Who can apply? </li></ul><ul><li>Are their exemptions? </li></ul><ul><li>Must copies be given if requested? </li></ul><ul><li>Access to records of deceased patients? </li></ul>
  21. 21. Exceptions to Medical Confidentiality <ul><li>Pt gives written and valid consent </li></ul><ul><li>To other participating professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Where undesirable to seek patients consent info can be given to a close relative </li></ul><ul><li>Statutory requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Ordered by Court </li></ul><ul><li>Public interest </li></ul><ul><li>Approved Research </li></ul>
  22. 22. Preservation of Life <ul><li>At what stage does human life begin?-coil, pill </li></ul><ul><li>Can we assess another persons quality of life?-Jehovah's Witness </li></ul>
  23. 23. Euthanasia <ul><li>Active: an active intervention to end life </li></ul><ul><li>Passive :deliberately withholding treatment that might help a patient live longer </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary :euthanasia is performed following a request from a patient </li></ul><ul><li>Doctor assisted suicide : a doctor prescribes a lethal drug which is self administered by the patient </li></ul><ul><li>Non-voluntary :ending the life of a patient who is not capable of giving permission </li></ul><ul><li>I nvoluntary :ending life against a patients will </li></ul>
  24. 24. Other Moral doctrines <ul><li>Acts and Omissions Doctrine -held by those who believe that passive euthanasia is not killing(killing is an act ,and an omission is not an act) </li></ul><ul><li>Doctrine of Double effect -makes a distinction between what I intend and what I merely foresee </li></ul>
  25. 25. Living Wills <ul><li>Patient unconsciousseverely mentally disabled , and two docs agree it unlikely he will be able to communicate treatment decision </li></ul><ul><li>Refuse treatment if prolongs life with no further benefit to patient </li></ul>
  26. 26. Justice <ul><li>How to allocate scarce healthcare resources? </li></ul><ul><li>Medical need </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Social worth-discriminates against underprivileged </li></ul><ul><li>Merits/contribution to society-very contentious </li></ul><ul><li>Desert </li></ul><ul><li>Market Forces </li></ul><ul><li>A lottery </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contaception and Minors <ul><li>Jane aged 15 yrs requests the OCP </li></ul><ul><li>Her mum phones you the next day </li></ul><ul><li>Several weeks later she tells you her boyfriend slapped her across the face </li></ul><ul><li>Her boyfriend is her history teacher </li></ul>
  28. 28. Lord Fraser’s reccomendations <ul><li>The doctor should assess whether the patient understands hisher advice </li></ul><ul><li>The doctor should encourage parental involvment </li></ul><ul><li>The doctor should take into account whether the patient is liekly to have sexual intercourse without contraceptive treatment </li></ul><ul><li>The doctor should assess whether the patient’s physicalmental healthare likely to suffer if she does not receive advice reatment </li></ul><ul><li>The doctor must consider whether the patient’s best interestsrequire himher to provide contraceptive advice reatment without parental consent </li></ul>
  29. 29. 4th Year- Case history <ul><li>A 25 yr old lady comes to the treatment room requesting syringes.She is a lesbian and wishes to inseminate herself. </li></ul><ul><li>1) What else would you like to know </li></ul><ul><li>2)What are the ethical issues </li></ul><ul><li>3)What would you do </li></ul>
  30. 30. Duties of a Doctor Please apply ethical principles to the above list as described in “Good Medical Practice”
  31. 31. Truth Telling Video clip <ul><li>How much information should be given to patients preoperatively? </li></ul><ul><li>When/how should we relay information to a postoperative patient? </li></ul><ul><li>What lessons can be learned from this tape? </li></ul>

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