PROFESSIONALISM
AND VIRTUES
Moral Virtues in the Doctor-Patient Relationship
By Liza C. Manalo, MD, MSc.
PROFESSION
• Profession, in its etymological root, means
to declare aloud, to proclaim something
publicly.
• Thereby, prof...
• The essence of a profession then is this
act of profession-of
promise, commitment, and dedication to
an ideal.
• Clearly...
• To be a professional is to assume and
maintain a life-long role of dedication to the
welfare of others-a role which conf...
• The first written use of the word profession in
relation to medicine was in 47 AD.
• In a book of prescriptions written ...
• Scribonius also spoke about the Hippocratic
profession and the bans on abortion and
euthanasia and the requirement to al...
• A virtue is an habitual and firm
disposition to do the good.
• It allows the person not only to perform
good acts, but t...
THE HUMAN VIRTUES
• Firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual
perfections of intellect and will that govern our
action...
The Cardinal Virtues
• Four virtues play a pivotal role and
accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the
others are grouped ...
Prudence (Practical Wisdom)
• The virtue that disposes practical reason to
discern our true good in every circumstance
and...
Justice
• The moral virtue that consists in the constant
and firm will to give their due to God and
neighbor.
• Justice to...
Fortitude (Courage)
• The moral virtue that ensures firmness in
difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of
the good.
• E...
Temperance
(Self-control; Moderation)
• The moral virtue that moderates the
attraction of pleasures and provides
balance i...
Some of the virtues entailed by professional
commitment and the outcomes which actualize
that commitment are:
1. Fidelity ...
FIDELITY TO TRUST
• First, a physician has invited trust.
• If a patient accepts a physician, then the
patient cannot avoi...
BENEVOLENCE
• Second, the prime concept of medical
ethics since the time of Hippocrates has
been acting for the good of th...
INTELLECTUAL HONESTY
• Third, medicine is a powerful instrument of both
good and harm, depending upon how medical
knowledg...
COURAGE
• Fourth, a physician may expose himself/
herself to possible physical harm in
emergency situations.
• It takes co...
COMPASSION
• Fifth, for any situation or clinical decision, a
physician must assume the predicament of the
patient in orde...
TRUTHFULNESS
• Finally, a patient is owed the knowledge
necessary for making informed choices.
• A patient must be able to...
The opposite vices to these virtues are :
1. Fidelity to trust
2. Benevolence
3. Intellectual honesty
4. Courage
5. Compas...
REFERENCES
• De Rosa, G. Paul (2006), Professionalism
and Virtues in Clinical Orthopedics and
Related Research, Number 449...
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Virtues and vices

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Virtues and vices

  1. 1. PROFESSIONALISM AND VIRTUES Moral Virtues in the Doctor-Patient Relationship By Liza C. Manalo, MD, MSc.
  2. 2. PROFESSION • Profession, in its etymological root, means to declare aloud, to proclaim something publicly. • Thereby, professionals make a profession of the specific kind of activity and conduct to which they commit themselves and to which they can be expected to conform.
  3. 3. • The essence of a profession then is this act of profession-of promise, commitment, and dedication to an ideal. • Clearly, a profession is much more than a job, it is an identity.
  4. 4. • To be a professional is to assume and maintain a life-long role of dedication to the welfare of others-a role which confers dignity, status, and power. • Inherent in professionalism is a commitment to excellence. • Destructive to professionalism is expectation of personal gain and neglect of the self-discipline and learning required to sustain professionalism.
  5. 5. • The first written use of the word profession in relation to medicine was in 47 AD. • In a book of prescriptions written by Scribonius, who was physician to the court of the Roman Emperor Claudius, he defined the word profession as a commitment to compassion or clemency in the relief of suffering.
  6. 6. • Scribonius also spoke about the Hippocratic profession and the bans on abortion and euthanasia and the requirement to always act to help the sick by whatever means are available. • Scribonius presented a humanistic interpretation of the profession of medicine and linked it to the humanistic virtues of benevolence, compassion, mercy, and competence in the use of medications. • Thus, we can learn from Scribonius the history of the word profession has been l inked to these virtues from its very first usage.
  7. 7. • A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. • It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. • The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions. THE VIRTUES
  8. 8. THE HUMAN VIRTUES • Firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and belief (faith). • They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. »The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.
  9. 9. The Cardinal Virtues • Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. 1. Prudence (practical wisdom) 2. Justice 3. Fortitude (courage) 4. Temperance (self-control)
  10. 10. Prudence (Practical Wisdom) • The virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it. • “Right reason in action“ – St. Thomas Aquinas & Aristotle • Central virtue of medicine: It is the habitual disposition to make right choices in complex clinical situations.
  11. 11. Justice • The moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. • Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good.
  12. 12. Fortitude (Courage) • The moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. • Enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions.
  13. 13. Temperance (Self-control; Moderation) • The moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of material goods. • It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable.
  14. 14. Some of the virtues entailed by professional commitment and the outcomes which actualize that commitment are: 1. Fidelity to trust 2. Benevolence 3. Intellectual honesty 4. Courage 5. Compassion 6. Truthfulness
  15. 15. FIDELITY TO TRUST • First, a physician has invited trust. • If a patient accepts a physician, then the patient cannot avoid trusting the physician and it is essential if helping and healing are to occur.
  16. 16. BENEVOLENCE • Second, the prime concept of medical ethics since the time of Hippocrates has been acting for the good of the patient and, of course, primum non nocere, first do no harm: benevolence
  17. 17. INTELLECTUAL HONESTY • Third, medicine is a powerful instrument of both good and harm, depending upon how medical knowledge and skill are used. • Knowing when one does not know and having the humility and ability to admit it and to obtain assistance are virtues critical to avoiding harm and demand intellectual honesty.
  18. 18. COURAGE • Fourth, a physician may expose himself/ herself to possible physical harm in emergency situations. • It takes courage to be a patient advocate in our commercialized and industrialized system of care.
  19. 19. COMPASSION • Fifth, for any situation or clinical decision, a physician must assume the predicament of the patient in order to feel something of the patient's plight if his scientific judgments are to be morally defensible and suited to the life of that patient.
  20. 20. TRUTHFULNESS • Finally, a patient is owed the knowledge necessary for making informed choices. • A patient must be able to assess a doctor's competence and truthfulness to undertake the proposed course of action.
  21. 21. The opposite vices to these virtues are : 1. Fidelity to trust 2. Benevolence 3. Intellectual honesty 4. Courage 5. Compassion 6. Truthfulness 1. Untrustworthy 2. Malevolence, ill will 3. Dishonesty 4. Cowardice 5. Indifference, Merciless ness 6. Untruthfulness, Lying
  22. 22. REFERENCES • De Rosa, G. Paul (2006), Professionalism and Virtues in Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, Number 449, pp. 28- 33, Lippincot Williams& Wilkins. • Pawlikowski J. Ethical principles and moral virtues in the doctor-patient relationship.

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