A career in health care and social sciences is both rewarding and challenging as well, no matter whether you are working as a doctor or medical administrator. There are medical treatment and procedures having their own merits or demerits. And patients have their circumstances and input to consider the merits or demerits of the treatment or procedures they have undergone. The whole spectrum of the bioethics is based on four principles that allow the health care administrators and doctors to ensure that they have provided best of the services to their patients and enabled them to overcome the demerits and challenges of the field. It also ensures that the patients should not feel that their health and life concern are not addressed in an appropriate manner. And this is the reason more and more medical professional are inclined towards acquiring the bioethics certificate.
Meaning is generic, but usage is particular.
These principles basically work as a guideline for the medical practitioners and help them in decision making when they confront the challenging situations that involve patients. Certain circumstances are inevitable by the medical practitioners, and these principles allow them to handle such circumstances appropriately. Autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice are the four principles of the health care ethics. All the ethics are interwoven and interrelated to each other and works towards providing best of the services to the patients. Most of us know the basic definition of each of the four principles, but they take special meaning when it comes to the medical scenario. The goal of all the principles is to ensure the optimal safety and care of the patients.
Autonomy-A right on the physical body.
If we talk about the autonomy, it is a right of a patient to retain and exercise control over his or her physical body. The health care professionals can advise or give suggestions to their patients, but they can’t compel or persuade the patients for choosing their advice or suggestions. Because if they do so, it is a violation of the bioethics and health law and the principle of the autonomy. Decision making is at the discretion of the patients they are free to make any decision on their physical body. Whether or not the medical practitioner agrees to the selection of the patients.
Beneficence- For the benefits of the patients.
Beneficence, the principle ensures that the medical practitioner should take all the steps for the betterment of the situation of the patients. All the required treatment and procedures should be followed to ensure the good health condition of the patient appropriately. To ensure the principle of beneficence is followed properly, the medical practitioners are required to develop and maintain a high level of knowledge and skills.
Non-Maleficence-Decisions should be the betterment of the society as a whole.
Non-Maleficence is one of the most popular principles out of the four principles of the medical bioethics. In simple terms, it means- To do no harm. It defines the main goal of all the medical practitioners during their decision making. Further, it allows the medical practitioner to check whether their decisions have any adverse effect on the society or not, even in the circumstances where such decision are taken for the benefits of an individual.
The principle of justice ensures that the element of fairness should prevail in all the medical decisions. Fairness in the decision of the medical practitioner is inevitable to ensure that the scarce resources are equally distributed among the patients, equal benefits are provided to all and medical practitioners have followed all the legislations and laws of the land while discharging their duties.