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)
Persons and their copies.
Is cloning human beings morally wrong? The basis for the one serious objection to cloning is that, because of what a clone is, clones would have much worse lives than non-clones. I sketch a fragment of moral theory to make sense of the objection. I then outline several ways in which it might be claimed that, because of what a clone is, clones would have much worse lives than non-clones. In particular, I look at various ideas connected with autonomy. I conclude that there is no basis to the claim that, because of what a clone is, clones would have much worse lives than non-clones. I therefore reject the claim that cloning human beings is morally wrong. (+info)
Equality and selection for existence.
It is argued that the policy of excluding from further life some human gametes and pre-embryos as "unfit" for existence is not at odds with a defensible idea of human equality. Such an idea must be compatible with the obvious fact that the "functional" value of humans differs, that their "use" to themselves and others differs. A defensible idea of human equality is instead grounded in the fact that as this functional difference is genetically determined, it is nothing which makes humans deserve or be worthy of being better or worse off. Rather, nobody is worth a better life than anyone else. This idea of equality is, however, not applicable to gametes and pre-embryos, since they are not human beings, but something out of which human beings develop. (+info)
Equitable rationing of highly specialised health care services for children: a perspective from South Africa.
The principles of equality and equity, respectively in the Bill of Rights and the white paper on health, provide the moral and legal foundations for future health care for children in South Africa. However, given extreme health care need and scarce resources, the government faces formidable obstacles if it hopes to achieve a just allocation of public health care resources, especially among children in need of highly specialised health care. In this regard, there is a dearth of moral analysis which is practically useful in the South African situation. We offer a set of moral considerations to guide the macro-allocation of highly specialised public health care services among South Africa's children. We also mention moral considerations which should inform micro-allocation. (+info)
Ancient Chinese medical ethics and the four principles of biomedical ethics.
The four principles approach to biomedical ethics (4PBE) has, since the 1970s, been increasingly developed as a universal bioethics method. Despite its wide acceptance and popularity, the 4PBE has received many challenges to its cross-cultural plausibility. This paper first specifies the principles and characteristics of ancient Chinese medical ethics (ACME), then makes a comparison between ACME and the 4PBE with a view to testing out the 4PBE's cross-cultural plausibility when applied to one particular but very extensive and prominent cultural context. The result shows that the concepts of respect for autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice are clearly identifiable in ACME. Yet, being influenced by certain socio-cultural factors, those applying the 4PBE in Chinese society may tend to adopt a "beneficence-oriented", rather than an "autonomy-oriented" approach, which, in general, is dissimilar to the practice of contemporary Western bioethics, where "autonomy often triumphs". (+info)
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)
Dr Gray leaves us with a question at the conclusion of his article--how should we choose priorities? He says that the debate so far has been mainly on what we should choose, but perhaps we should consider how to choose even more. Under the various subheadings of Criteria, Principles and Persons Dr Gray sets out the pros and cons of the arguments in the priority debates and tries to offer some more specific guidelines to offset the criticism that the government's priority discussions have been too generalised. Yet this is a difficult task when everyone's priorities are so different. (+info)
Response to Roger W. Hunt.
A response to a critique by Roger W. Hunt of my views on the eventual likely need to use age as a standard for the allocation of expensive, high-technology, life-extending medical care for the elderly. The response encompasses three elements: 1. that while the elderly have a substantial claim to publicly-provided health care, it cannot be an unlimited claim; 2. that a health care system which provided a decent, coherent set of medical and social services for the elderly would be sufficient, even if some limits had to be set; and 3. allocation and rationing decisions should not be made by individual doctors at the bedside but by regional or national policy. (+info)