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The presentation explains the principles of medical ethics and describes important terms on the subject. Brief descriptions of codes of medical ethics are covered but for details actual documents may be referred.

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  2. 2. INTRODUCTION The relation between doctor and patient is considered fiduciary in nature and based on mutual trust which forms the foundation of medical ethics. However the honors and ideals of medical profession imply responsibilities of physician extends beyond the individual to society. Public at large expects doctors to not only have high standard of medical ability and skill but also high ethical behaviors.
  3. 3. ETHICS DEFINED The word ethics is derived from the Greek word ethos, which means "character,“. The most important element in ethical behavior is knowledge that actions are accomplished for the betterment of the common good of individual and society. To put it formally ethics is the branch of philosophy that defines what is good for the individual and for society and establishes the nature of obligations, or duties, that people owe themselves and one another.
  4. 4. Professional Ethics Professional Ethics are the civil code of behaviors considered correct by member of the profession for the good of both the stakeholders and the profession.
  5. 5. Medical Ethics Medical ethics refers to the system of values common to medical profession and application of these values to practice of medicine. It is the standard of behavior by which physician evaluate their relationship with their patients , colleagues and society.
  7. 7. Non maleficence
  8. 8. Beneficence
  9. 9. Balancing Beneficence and Non- maleficence
  10. 10. Autonomy
  11. 11. Social Responsibility and Justice
  12. 12. Confidentiality
  13. 13. Veracity
  14. 14. ETHICAL CODES Important ethical codes in medicine: Hippocratic Oath Declaration of Geneva International Code of Medical Ethics Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002
  15. 15. Hippocratic Oath Hippocratic Oath is one of the earliest document in medical ethics. Traditionally all doctors recite this oath at swearing in. It is considered sacred for its religious foundation and sanctity. However with the evolution of medical science and social values over the ages the underlying sentiments of Hippocratic ideals have become redundant. The rigid set of ethics disregards circumstantial variations and can not be followed in to days health care systems.
  16. 16. Declaration of Geneva The World Medical Association adopted the declaration in its General Assembly at Geneva in 1948. It is a declaration of physicians’ dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine. The declaration was important in view of the medical crimes committed in the Nazi Germany during WW-II. It have been amended several times since then. The declaration of Geneva was intended to update the Oath of Hippocrates which was no longer suitable suited to modern conditions.
  17. 17. International Code of Medical Ethics The World Medical Association adopted an International Code of Medical ethics based on the modern restatement of Hippocratic Oath “The Geneva Declaration”. The code applies both in peace and war. It codifies the duties of physician in general, duties to patients and colleagues.
  18. 18. Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 The Medical Council of India notified the “Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002” on 11 March 2002 to bring ethical standardization in to hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. The Regulations are comprehensive with penal provisions for misconducts by delinquent medical practitioners. Not withstanding some redundancies and internal inconsistencies the regulations have not delivered results so far due to poor implementation.
  19. 19. BREACH OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS Breach of ethics are: Misconduct Malpractice
  20. 20. Professional Misconduct Professional misconduct is behavior by a professional that implies an intentional compromise of ethical standards.
  21. 21. Malpractice Malpractice is the breach by a member of a profession of either a standard of care or a standard of conduct. It refers to negligence or misconduct by a professional person, such as a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, or an accountant. The failure to meet a standard of care or standard of conduct that is recognized by a profession reaches the level of malpractice when a client or patient is injured or damaged because of error.
  22. 22. CONCLUSION Medical Ethics is a currently debated topic. Lack of moral standards in health care set up is widely proclaimed. Society is no more tolerant to erring doctors. Regulatory bodies are striving to institute acceptable standard of ethical behaviors by doctors, nurses and paramedical personnel.