Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Ethics
Ethics in healthcare refers to the principles and values that guide the actions of healthcare professionals and organizations. These principles include respect for autonomy (the right of individuals to make their own decisions), non-maleficence (the duty to do no harm), beneficence (the duty to do good), and justice (fairness in the distribution of healthcare resources).
There are many ethical issues that arise in the healthcare industry, including:
Informed consent: Healthcare professionals have a duty to ensure that patients are fully informed about their treatment options and the risks and benefits of those options, and to obtain the patient’s consent before proceeding with treatment.
Confidentiality: Healthcare professionals have a duty to keep their patients’ personal and medical information confidential, unless the patient has given consent for it to be disclosed or there are legal requirements to do so.
End-of-life care: Healthcare professionals must respect patients’ end-of-life care wishes and work with them and their families to develop a plan that aligns with their values and preferences.
Allocation of scarce resources: Healthcare professionals and organizations must make decisions about how to allocate limited resources, such as organs for transplantation, in a fair and just manner.
Research ethics: Healthcare researchers have a responsibility to ensure that their studies are conducted ethically, including obtaining informed consent from study participants and protecting their privacy.
Ethics is an important consideration in all aspects of healthcare, and healthcare professionals are expected to uphold these principles in their practice.