To what extent should interpersonal ethics play a role in the practice of medicine?
In other words, how much should a doctor’s personal beliefs affect what he advises/does to the patient. This should be argued with the hippocratic oath and other articles that are provided or any other sources. The two articles are called “Physicians Value Neutrality” and “The Personal Is Political, the Professional Is Not”. Here are instructions for the paper:
consider the ethical demands and conflicts inherent in trying to be a “professional.” Discussions about the medical profession may evoke heavily charged topics such as abortion and euthanasia. Obviously, discussions regarding the medical ramifications of abortion and euthanasia are ethical ones as well.
“First do no harm” is the commonly quoted underlying principle of the Hippocratic Oath (though it actually comes from his writing Epidemics), sworn by most all doctors and medical professionals to practice medicine ethically. In its original version, the definition of harm includes the promise: “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” However, the controversiality of physician ethics remains a question of definitions: what constitutes harm? Chemotherapy, for instance, is a deadly drug that kills body cells, but might ultimately save a patient from cancer. When might a discussion about end-of-life care actually be in the best interest of the patient? Is it the doctor’s duty to not only cure disease but to relieve suffering? Do the circumstances surrounding abortion change if the mother’s health is at risk? Is performing gender reassignment surgery causing unnecessary harm or improving someone’s quality of life? Moreover, does a patient have the right to choose what might be considered harmful? What rights or obligations does a doctor have towards this oath or any other codes of morality in his/her practice?
The readings that you will be critically examining for this assignment offer: a critique of Physician Value Neutrality, or, the idea that physicians have a duty to be “neutral” in medical services, regardless of conflict with their own personal moral values; an argument for attention to professional norms and patient rights over personal ethical issues; and a redefinition of what might constitute proper and ethical medical practice based on power dynamics and narrative construction.
– How do these essays construct their arguments? To whom are they speaking? Do they engage in any logical fallacies or are there logical “leaps”? What basic assumptions do they make? Are their examples appropriate? Please use a critical reading of any two of these texts to help support your own argument.