The case of Marguerite M presents an ethical dilemma. Medical ethics play a special role in medicine and is directly concerned with its practice. Its role has continued to evolve as changes develop in medicine with new technology, financing and medical care. Furthermore, medical ethics considers the virtues of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice among some of its most respected. Physicians are sworn to non-maleficence, or to first do no harm. Their work is to help others, beneficence, and also perform so that others may benefit from it. To that end, the major role of medical ethics is to regulate behavior among healthcare professionals.
When considering an ethical dilemma the facts are examined, not emoti...
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...l rights. Acting in this manner infringes on the patient’s health and access to care (The Hastings Center, 2008). In the same manner, the family may feel that Dr. K was negligent and is liable for her death. They have the option to request an autopsy to help determine direct cause of death or if the treatment Marguerite received were discriminatory based on age or other legal circumstances. Another option is an investigation to determine if the doctor fulfilled his medical duty to Marguerite.
In summary, medical ethics was established to regulate health care professionals’ behavior. It also serves as a compass for what is acceptable in the practice of medicine. Of course, this is apt to change as health care evolves. This case presents an ethical dilemma in rationing of services and decision making as to who benefits from available resources.
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