(1/153) Medical practice: defendants and prisoners.
It is argued in this paper that a doctor cannot serve two masters. The work of the prison medical officer is examined and it is shown that his dual allegiance to the state and to those individuals who are under his care results in activities which largely favour the former. The World Health Organisation prescribes a system of health ethics which indicates, in qualitative terms, the responsibility of each state for health provisions. In contrast, the World Medical Association acts as both promulgator and guardian of a code of medical ethics which determines the responsibilities of the doctor to his patient. In the historical sense medical practitioners have always emphasized the sanctity of the relationship with their patients and the doctor's role as an expert witness is shown to have centered around this bond. The development of medical services in prisons has focused more on the partnership between doctor and institution. Imprisonment in itself could be seen as prejudicial to health as are disciplinary methods which are more obviously detrimental. The involvement of medical practitioners in such procedures is discussed in the light of their role as the prisoner's personal physician. (+info)
(2/153) How physician executives and clinicians perceive ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals and the attributes that might lead to the existence of these ethical issues. DESIGN: Self-completion questionnaire administered from February to July 1997. SETTING: Different health regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 457 physicians (317 clinicians and 140 physician executives) from several hospitals in various regions across the kingdom. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding the existence of various ethical issues in their hospitals. The vast majority of physician executives did not perceive that seven of the eight issues addressed by the study were ethical concerns in their hospitals. However, the majority of the clinicians perceived that six of the same eight issues were ethical considerations in their hospitals. Statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians were observed in only three out of eight attributes that might possibly lead to the existence of ethical issues. The most significant attribute that was perceived to result in ethical issues was that of hospitals having a multinational staff. CONCLUSION: The study calls for the formulation of a code of ethics that will address specifically the physicians who work in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a more immediate initiative, it is recommended that seminars and workshops be conducted to provide physicians with an opportunity to discuss the ethical dilemmas they face in their medical practice. (+info)
(3/153) The role of ethical principles in health care and the implications for ethical codes.
A common ethical code for everybody involved in health care is desirable, but there are important limitations to the role such a code could play. In order to understand these limitations the approach to ethics using principles and their application to medicine is discussed, and in particular the implications of their being prima facie. The expectation of what an ethical code can do changes depending on how ethical properties in general are understood. The difficulties encountered when ethical values are applied reactively to an objective world can be avoided by seeing them as a more integral part of our understanding of the world. It is concluded that an ethical code can establish important values and describe a common ethical context for health care but is of limited use in solving new and complex ethical problems. (+info)
(4/153) Arguments for zero tolerance of sexual contact between doctors and patients.
Some doctors do enter into sexual relationships with patients. These relationships can be damaging to the patient involved. One response available to both individual doctors and to disciplinary bodies is to prohibit sexual contact between doctors and patients ("zero tolerance"). This paper considers five ways of arguing for a zero tolerance policy. The first rests on an empirical claim that such contact is almost always harmful to the patient involved. The second is based on a "principles" approach while the third originates in "virtues" ethics. The fourth argues that zero tolerance is an "a priori" truth. These four attempt to establish that the behaviour is always wrong and ought, therefore, to be prohibited. The fifth argument is counterfactual. It claims a policy that allowed sexual contact would have unacceptable consequences. Given the responsibility of regulatory bodies to protect the public, zero tolerance is a natural policy to develop. (+info)
(5/153) On becoming non-judgmental: some difficulties for an ethics of counselling.
The growth in the availability of counselling services has been accompanied by growing concern about the conduct of counsellors, which in turn has led to the expressed need for an ethics of counselling. This paper will argue that there is an inherent tension between this need and the central tenets of one variety of counselling, client-centred counselling. The tension is identifiable on the basis of an inquiry into the nature of moral judgment which results in the recognition of the implicit value base in client-centred counselling. It is only when this value base is made explicit that any adequate ethics of counselling becomes a viable possibility. (+info)
(6/153) Power and the teaching of medical ethics.
This paper argues that ethics education needs to become more reflective about its social and political ethic as it participates in the construction and transmission of medical ethics. It argues for a critical approach to medical ethics and explores the political context in medical schools and some of the peculiar problems in medical ethics education. (+info)
(7/153) Would you like to know what is wrong with you? On telling the truth to patients with dementia.
OBJECTIVES: To discover what dementia sufferers feel is wrong with them; what they have been told and by whom, and what they wish to know about their illness. BACKGROUND: Ethical guidelines regarding telling truth appear to be equivocal. Declarations of cognitively intact subjects, attitudes of family members and current psychiatric practice all vary, but no previous research has been published concerning what patients with dementia would in fact like to know about their diagnosis and prognosis. DESIGN: Questionnaire study of the patients' opinions. SETTING: Old Age Psychiatry Service in Worcester. PARTICIPANTS: 30 consecutive patients with dementia. RESULTS: The quality of information received has been poor and many patients have no opportunity to discuss their illness with anybody. Despite that almost half of the participants in this study had adequate insight and a majority declared that they would like to know more about their predicament. CONCLUSIONS: Although many patients would like to know the truth, the rights of those who do not want to know should also be respected. Therefore the diagnosis of dementia should not be routinely disclosed but (just as in other disorders) health care professionals should seek to understand their patients' preferences and act appropriately according to their choice. (+info)
(8/153) Medical, legal and ethical considerations in the use of drugs having undesirable side effects.