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Medical Ethics: Term Definition

Ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions regarding morality. Ethics is the venture of the selected choice of people in an institution. In the same way, medical ethics are the choices in medicine. Medical ethics are the choices that are made by a diversified range of medical officials. Medical ethics covers doctors, physicians, surgeons, nurses, hospital management, and all other officials in the field of medicine. Medical ethics are also the choices made by the patients, legislative, and other public officials. In this paper, we shall briefly discuss medical ethics. Moreover, we shall also discuss a major part of philosophy in relation to medical ethics.

Medical problems such as abortion, heart transplants, euthanasia, and asthma have a major part in medical ethics. Medical officials need to make decisions to overcome these problems or to treat the patients. Decisions are even required to be made when the doctors need to tell the patent about the disease.

Medical ethics include a complete mindset of norms and values which should be considered by the practitioners for decision-making. Such a mindset has not been formulated by a single written document but by many philosophers determining the cause and effect of different situations. It is necessary for medical officials to consider the right approach and ethical actions. Such action is necessary due to its impact on the medical field. Medical ethics covers the association and coordination of medical officials and the wide scope of medical teachings (Popkin, 1993).

Medical ethics has a deep impact on the patients, the associating relationship between potential caregivers and practitioners. The impact can also be observed in the form of the betterment of health and medicine organizations. Medical ethics, therefore, play a major role in shaping positive and negative behavior.

New benefits are created due to the ethical changes in the health care field. Patients get advantages from the creation of such benefits. There could be an opposite reaction in a routine regulatory if a change is being observed. The opposite or negative reaction of change field also creates problems in ethical decision-making. Ethics have complete influence over behavior, values, and norms. Due to the extreme importance of medical ethics over the common behavior and choices of medical officials, many states have made the education of medical ethics, a mandatory subject (Ahronheim, Moreno & Zuckerman, 2004).

Medical ethics are also known as bioethics. Medical ethics include all everyday medical issues and their philosophies to make it certain to patients. Medical ethics guide the medical officials in examining and treating the patients in the first place. Medical ethics also help the physicians and officials of the medical field in revealing sensitive information to the family members of the patient. Dealing with such a situation and then planning the way to deal with the problem also requires decision-making.

Medical ethics also addresses the issues of everyday business such as designing an economical plan for paying for medical facilities. Designing economical plans for the mediocre makes it helpful for them brings continuity for health care. Moreover, medical ethics stresses the importance of the events for providing health plans and medical information to the patients (Ahronheim, Moreno & Zuckerman, 2004).

Medical ethics includes a dilemma for the medical officials which demands them to staying up late at the clinic to provide care to the patients. Medical officials stay late for staffing patient cases at the expense of being absent from the family associations. Medical ethics includes all the important issues which can result in the well-being of human beings. Medical ethics are all about the pros and cons of decision-making.

In regards to medical ethical dilemmas, physicians face more influence than professionals. The reason behind the extreme influence over the physicians is that they need to make critical decisions that could be quite complicated at certain moments. The critical decisions made by the physicians have practical implications as well as personal implications. For example, if a barber rejects to cut the hairs of the customer for the reason of lack of money then it will not be harmful to society. On the other hand, if a physician rejects to help a person who has no money then it would make a harmful impact on society. Therefore, it is said that physicians are most influenced by medical ethics.

At one point there are different codes of ethics in the field of medicine. There are many stakeholders in the medical field with their specific code of ethics which is entirely based upon their own interpretation of the information and consequences. Stakeholders consist of a therapist, physicians, hospitals, and health plans. Some of them stress principles such as the respect of others and beneficence whereas the other group of stakeholders stresses the principle of justice and nonmaleficence.

There is going to be a debate all the time in terms of selecting the right way to adjust things. Due to the presence of many stakeholders in the field of medicine, it is complicated to stand with one accurate principle to do things. We must understand the fact that there could be no equality among different policies and principles of stakeholders. This adds more features to the dilemma of medical ethics (Veatch, 1997).

Such a presence of different codes of ethics could be taken as positive or negative. It could be positive when the problem is being solved with more than one solution. Similarly, it becomes complicated when the solution of the problem is applicable but not acceptable to the person opting to find a positive end result to the issue.

Medical ethics is a set confirmed and added by the different schools of thought practicing in the field of medicine. All school of thoughts represents the general views of some people and culture. For example, we can consider the issue of abortion which is quite a controversial issue in the field of medicine. Abortion is considered to be prohibited and unacceptable in society. Some of the philosophers consider it as the murder of innocent life while others believe that getting a fetus aborted is getting unhooked which is a right of a woman. The most prominent philosophers among those who differ in terms of abortion are Judith Jarvis Thomson and Jane English (Diane, 2009).

Even though abortion is not allowed in some states, the practitioners of the abortion performance are still a part of the medical field. They are licensed medical officials and they continue to practice abortions. Personal factors play an important role in shaping up decision-making which adds more issues to be addressed by medical ethics. Both approaches in the medical field are acceptable. Both insights have moral values even though one outweighs in someone’s perspective.

The compilation of medical subsets in medical ethics encloses the important factors such as the values and behavior of the medical professionals. Medical ethics is a mix of different ideas and sources. The sources which together as a mix results in medical ethics are philosophy, religion, law, family, culture, etc. Medical ethics can help people in analyzing and solving problems in a more systematic way. Medical ethics could be used as a tool for organizing the procedures and making patterns to achieve mental and prosperity for the community (Hope, 2004).

Another important issue that is included in medical ethics is the matter of confidentiality. The matter of confidentiality further follows the rights of patients. The physician should not reveal the information of the patients that needed to be confidential. This is in the subset of medical ethics which is opposed by those to whom this is not acceptable. The reasons for opposing this matter are health insurance, utilization management, and disease administration. The knowledge of the risk, costs, and appropriate treatment must be delivered to the patients by physicians. Knowing completely about the medical issue is a right of the patient (Ahronheim, Moreno & Zuckerman, 2004).

Medical ethics put stress on the need for beneficence that makes this profession noble and effective in the betterment of society. The beneficence can be shown and implemented in two ways. The first way could be operating the issue with no charges. The second approach could either be increasing the working hours of the clinic or arranging events to help the patients to get the best for their health. Medical ethics elaborate the rights of the patients that they can keep the continuity in their health care and respond to their needs.

Medical ethics includes legal and economic aspects of the medical problems as well. For this statement, we can consider the example of a global crisis. During the global crisis getting help as a charity becomes really complicated. Medical ethics address such problems to overcome the economic aspect of the medical problems. Some people do not consider such problems as ethical dilemmas at all. Many other issues can be considered or become medical ethical issues.

Medical ethics furthermore includes the role of society in the well-being of its members. A society must provide the resources to achieve a patient’s goal to get the best adequate health care. Health professionals and other stakeholders must make it evident and possible for the members to seek help from society (Popkin, 1993).

Truth-telling is another important issue in medical ethics. In some states such as the US, it is said that telling the truth or giving the complete information of the conflict to the patient would be unethical. The physicians in the US ask the patients whether they want to know what has been diagnosed or not. It is because they consider it unethical and not accurate for the treatment of the issue. All these subsets of medical ethics are the results of passing decades when a different school of thought published their stories.

This is advantageous to humankind that there is more than one voice for the betterment of the health issues of the human kind. Medical ethics and dilemma are addressing issues related to the medical field and providing elucidations to different conflicts. This procedure helps to spread awareness among common people regarding health care issues (Veatch, 1997).

It is important to impart the knowledge of medical ethics to the people who hardly give importance to regular medical checks up. Debates that can distinguish between right and wrong of any health issue can help in developing a perspective of an individual. Patients must know their rights of knowing and treating the conflicts they go through. Patients must know the rights and duties of physicians as well. In this way, the possibility of further creation of problems and conflicts is reduced. There is always a possibility of falling unaware regarding the risks (Veatch, 1997).

By knowing the complete subsets of medical ethics one can reduce the risk factor and opt for better treatment. Patients have complete rights to select what treatment they could select for the issue. For example, a pregnant woman can abort the fetus if she requires treatment. It is possible in one condition and that is the awareness of the ethical issues. Another example could be drawn from the operations like a transplant of the kidney which is regarded as a very critical surgical procedure. Patients opting to go for transplant treatment must be aware of its positives and negatives. The awareness is important due to the matter of life and death (Popkin, 1993).

Ethical issues in every society may be different due to their cultural philosophy. Therefore there must be a different code of ethics that follows the different rights of the patients. It is important to note that one must follow the medical issues with regard to their social community. There is no distinction between social classes and medical ethics. Medical ethics is only affected by philosophy and moral epistemology. Philosophers help the doctors in giving them the meanings of words and solutions to the arguments and debates about certain conflicts and issues. In this way, a philosopher becomes a medical office and contributes to the field of medicine developing a subset in medical ethics (PubMed Central, 1976).

Similarly, there is always regularity in changes appearing in medical ethics. The reason behind such prominent changes in ethical issues is the political philosophy. Emerging political philosophies may either present a change against or in defense of the existing subsets of medical ethics. There are some issues in the medical field which are still remaining to be solved. A good example of this issue can be the buying and selling of kidneys in the world. The issue of buying and selling kidneys still needs to be solved. Most critique believes that such issues are not being solved due to the liberalism in political philosophy.

Through the above discussion and noted examples, it can be concluded that ethical issues are dependent upon psychology, cultural philosophy, political philosophy, etc. Ethical issues are greatly affected by the changing trends of society. It can also be said that medical ethics addresses almost every issue of the field of medicine. Medical issues with economic and legal aspects could also be noted as medical ethical issues. The rights of patients and the duties of physicians and other medical officials can work as a driving force in society. Therefore it is recommended that the information regarding the medical ethical issues is studied well for the well-being of human beings.


Ahronheim, J., Moreno, J. & Zuckerman, C. (2004). Ethics in Clinical Practice. London: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Diane, W. (2009). How ethical dilemmas are best resolved in health care issues. Helium , 1-3.

Hope, R. (2004). Medical ethics: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Popkin, R. (1993). Philosophy Made Simple. Made Simple.

PubMed Central. (1976). Industrial action by doctors. Journal of Medical Ethics , 1-2.

Veatch, R. (1997). Jones & Bartlett Publishers. London: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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