HEALTH ETHICS Ethics practical science of the morality of human conduct. Greek word ethos which means characteristic way of acting. It is: practical because it implies direction. (imply rules for thought of action) a science because it deals with a complete and systematically arranged body of data and presents the reasons which show the data to be true. of morality because it is related to the dictates of reason – how it should be. (individual cognitive examination of right and wrong) of human conduct because it deals with deliberate and free human activity and how one should act. Bioethics division of ethics that relates to human life or the ethics of the life sciences and health care, both delivery and research. Health Ethics division of ethics that relates to human health. It is also considered as ethics for the health professions. concerned with anything that harms the health. (ex. drug abuse, smoking, etc.) patient’s care Bioethics and health ethics are often viewed as synonymous. Health ethics is more limited as it confined itself to the moral behavior in relation to health. Professional Ethics division of ethics that relates to professional behavior. Two Parts of Ethics: 1. General deals with the basic principles of the morality of human act. 2. Social teaches the basic principles in the life of man as a member of society. Importance of Health Ethics: 1. it provides awareness to the health care team of the dos and don’ts of medical practice. 2. it enriches one’s competence by understanding that the patient is a person and a holistic individual. 3. it considers the usefulness, practice and application of human knowledge to one’s experience or action. 4. it provides norms for the goodness and badness of human acts. Decisions about health must aim at the maximum integrated satisfaction of his needs. a. biological b. social c. psychological d. spiritual and creative Basic Concepts of Man Human Person is the subject of health care and his health is the common goal. as a person, he has dignity that always be respected. as a rational creature, he can and should freely choose what is best for him. Nature of Man 1. as a living organism, man is capable of: feeding himself growing reproducing in order to preserve himself 2. as an organism having senses whether external (smell, taste, touch, hearing or sight) or internal (consciousness, imagination, memory or instincts). 3. as a human person, man tends to be aware of good things. 4. as a rational organism, man acquires knowledge by using his free will in judging and reasoning. 5. as an intellectual organism, man uses his conscience to do his practical judgment in doing or choosing a good from evil action. Personhood state of being an individual or person. Man is born into this world as an individual. We call him, thus, a person and not a human nature. Certain actions may never be done because performing them would constitute a violation against a person’s dignity, both dignities of the one on whom action is directed as well as that of the one performing the action. Man as a rational organism Man is an organism composed of body and soul. The human body is the material shell within which the soul operates. The soul is the principle of life by which we live, sense and reason. Man is not the soul neither is he the body. Man is the substantial union of the body and soul. Act of Man one that is not dependent upon intellect and free will. 1. knowledge – “What does an act mean?” 2. free will – “Free will to do the act.” Three Elements of Determining Morality 1. the act itself 2. purpose 3. circumstance factors distinct from it and from the purpose which may affect the morality of the act. may create, mitigate or aggravate a sin. Modifiers conditions that affect the morality of human acts. 1. ignorance lack of knowledge. excuses no one. 2. violence external force applied by someone to another in order to compel him to perform an action against his will. 3. fear agitation or disturbance of the mind. one of the emotions brought about by the apprehension of the impending evil or danger. 4. habits repeated actions intended oneself. 5. temperament qualities that marks an individual, making him unique from others. a. sanguine – pleasing, agreeable but not a good leader because of not being stable. b. choleric – one who is dominating, strong and a good leader. c. melancholic – pessimistic; usually scrupulous and despairs easily. d. phlegmatic – those who are easy-going, lacks initiative but trustworthy. 6. moral implications of nervous mental disorders Sin and moral responsibility imply the use of the intellect and will. Nervous mental disorders affect the proper operation of these two faculties and if these faculties are affected, moral responsibility is diminished or eliminated. a. neurasthenia – neurotic condition characterized by feelings of fatigue, worry and depression which may affect the activity of the will. abulia – loss of will power; a person unable to make decisions. hysteria – psychoneurosis; mental disorders characterized by emotional excitability and frequently accompanied by signs and symptoms of anger, tendency to lie and steal. compulsion neurosis – characterized by obsessions and compulsions. hypochondria – morbid anxiety concerning one’s health characterized by imaginary ailment or illness. Conscience one’s inward sense of what is right and wrong. practical judgment of reason upon an individual act as good to be performed or as evil to be accorded. special little voice within us whispering suggestions regarding our conduct. Natural Law – Law of God: understanding the teachings of God. Kinds of Conscience: antecedent – judgment made before an action. consequent – judgment that comes after the act. concomitant – judgment made during the act. Types of Conscience: 1. Free Conscience – when one is able to assume personal moral stand with regards to a particular attitude or moral responsibility for a particular action with no hindrance or impediment. 2. Unfree Conscience – when one’s moral attitude or responsibility for a particular action is hindered. (ex. fear, anger, etc.) 3. Correct Conscience – one’s subjective perceptions and decisions of conscience are in conformity with the objective moral values and demands. 4. Erroneous Conscience – not in conformity with the objective moral values and moral demands. 5. Lax Conscience – careless conscience; always find excuses in grave misconduct. 6. Strict Conscience – when the conscience ends to judge moral obligations in harshly or excessively in legalistic way. 7. Scrupulous Conscience – a conscience that tends to judge sin to be present even when there is none. 8. Clear Conscience – one that indicates correctly the badness or goodness of a moral conduct. 9. Callous Conscience – worst type of conscience because it makes an individual to love sin. 10. Doubtful Conscience – one which leaves a person undecided as to the proper course of action. 11. Probable Conscience – a conscience that arrives at a certain point where it finds security in its own formation of moral attitude even while still admitting the possibility that the opposite is true. 12. Certain Conscience – one which dictates the course of action in clear terms without fear of error. Conscience situations of following not following a certain action: 1. When our conscience is honestly and correctly formed, we are obliged to follow in it in any circumstance. 2. No one is allowed to act with a doubtful conscience. 3. An individual must always act in accordance with a certain conscience. Act of Man one that is not dependent upon intellect and free will. Human Act an act which proceeds from the deliberate free will of man. The Calling of the Healthcare Profession Health is the optimum human functioning of a person to meet physiological, psychological, social and spiritual needs in an integral manner. It is multifactoral. Many healthcare providers are concerned almost exclusively with physiological and psychological functions. They must be cognizant of the social and spiritual function of their patients and help them lead a better life.
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