Ethics Case Study

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The word “Ethics” is derived from the Ancient Greek word “Ethos” which means character. Ethics is often thought of as a guide as to how people should behave and conduct themselves throughout their day to day lives. This can apply to individuals, society as a whole, or to certain groups within society such as members of a particular profession. J.J.C Smart, an Australian philosopher, described ethics as the study of how it is most rational to behave1. Ethics provides a set of moral principles that are regarded as being beneficial for individuals and society. These principles are derived from many sources including politics, religion, and cultures etc. These principles are not necessarily about declaring which actions are right and wrong, but providing a framework to help inform our judgements. Ethics provides tools…show more content…
This case highlights breaches of several moral principles of the profession. Dutch pathologist Professor Dick Van Velzen was accused of removing and retaining the organs of hundreds of children during his time working as a consultant paedicatric pathologist at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital10. Perhaps the most significant breach of ethics is that the harvesting or organs was done without the appropriate consent from parents. Following the death of their child, parents were approached for consent for post-mortem. However, it was alleged that specifics regarding the removal and retention of organs were not discussedm and therefore parents were not fully informed about the plans for their child’s remains, making their consent invalid.It has been argued that this was a breach of their autonomy, and tehrefore a breach of their human rights11. Practice has changed in recent years ro require much more information to be given, specific for the particular research rather than general medical consent as was previously

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