MEDICINE SANS ETHICS
Health in all its manifestations is primordial to our existence, starting from simple fitness, agility to injury, ailments, impediments to life & finally death. From daily fitness to our overall well being is completely dependent on it. Herein comes the role is medical practitioners & health care institutions of every type. Doctors are healers, so to say. They are the God’s manifestation on earth, commanding a nature of trust which has long remained unquestioned. This was dependent on Medical Ethics deeply ingrained in our doctors.
”Medical ethics is a system of moral principals that applies values to the practice of clinical medicine & in scientific research. The noble profession is under stress losing its basic faith in the patient fraternity. The four principle approach is at the base of its existence. First, is the respect for autonomy; the patient having the right to refuse or choose their treatment, second, beneficence; the doctor should act in patients best interest, third, non-maleficece; the doctor will cause no harm and fourth, justice; is the judicious use of the scarce health resources.
Codified as the Hippocratic Oath between 3rd & 5th century BC, it came down through a variety of documents to the present day Code of Conduct for doctors. A doctor cannot advertise but hospitals do. Informed consent, confidentiality & appropriate medical communication are a part of it.
The corporatisation of hospitals brought the boon of good medical care & curse of crash commercialism at one go. The support systems followed the same route; pharmaceutical & bio-medical engineering companies & the ill famous diagnostic mechanism, each feeding into each other. Doctor became a tool in the commercial health ecosystem. Referral charges, vendor relationships, fee splitting& the like became the order of day. Medical errors are now the third leading cause of deaths in the US. Trust is compromised.
THE DARK UNDERBELLY OF HEALTH CARE CAN BE IT’s NEMESIS.