Medical Ethics in Healthcare
|Course Name||Medical Ethics in Healthcare|
|Course Catagory||Nursing and General Healthcare|
Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Define ethics and medical ethics, and explain the sources of these ethics.
- Identify how medical ethics impact patient care.
- Recognize new medical ethics issues.
- Apply ethical principles to help improve patient care.
- List and explain the four underlying principles of bioethics.
- Understand the relationship between laws, professional ethics, and professional codes such as the AMA Code of Ethics.
Course InformationIn many ways, healthcare is an art and a scientific endeavor. Professionals try to act in ways that promote the best health of the patient. But it is not always clear what is best for the patient. Thus at times, choices have to be made that focus on what is best for the individual or their relatives, what medical records can be disclosed and what must be held in strictest confidentiality.
Healthcare Ethics is the study of moral issues that concern healthcare professionals in medicine, nursing, law, sociology, philosophy, and theology. It deals with healthcare values, obligations, rights and needs. Medical ethics in particular trace its roots to the old Greek Hippocratic Oath, which required physicians above all to "do no harm."
In the last half of this century there have been momentous changes in every aspect of the practice of medicine. Even the very scope of the practice of medicine has been expanded. No longer limited to treatment and cure, advances in technology and pharmacology have brought about a rapidly increasing ability to intervene in life and death situations; to alter the physical and the emotional; and soon, to alter human genetics. As the healthcare professional is constantly being faced with new areas in which appropriate actions have to be defined, medical ethics must now race to keep up with medical advances. This course is designed to provide an overview of the current state of medical ethics to better enable healthcare professionals to provide the best patient care possible. It will also provide tools for guidance in making ethical decisions regarding patient care and interactions with colleagues and facilities. It is divided into three sections: 1. History and background; 2. Deciding ethical questions; 3. Contemporary issues. This course does not seek to provide definitive answers to what is and what is not ethical, because too many variables exist, including an individualšs own religious and/or moral values. Instead, it provides information and direction so that the healthcare professional can determine his or her own standards of ethical behavior, for it is a determination that will have to be made over and over throughout onešs medical career.