Final Paper #5
December 1, 2014
The Hippocratic oath is a solemn promise made by doctors to uphold ethics in their medical practices. The oath makes a doctor to be personally responsible in his professional activities and for that reason he or she must justify the decision he or she makes in relation the patient. Although the oath says that the doctor should do no harm to a certain degree, the main question asked by the ethicist is whether advanced medical procedures present ethical challenges. Just as Belkin states “Is it wrong to breed a child for “spare parts”? Ethicists asked” (Belkin 2). At the same time the ethicist hopes to answer the question of whether medicine should be limited or guided by ethical consideration, which may render advanced medical procedures immoral. Moreover, in terms of ethics it is important for doctors to realize that in certain situation they are supposed to intervene while in others they are not supposed to intervene. It is important to intervene in medical procedures when it can save a person’s life who is facing a life or death situation. In which questions regarding ethics should not stop a procedure from taking place because it has the power to curing a person.
Research indicates that scientific discoveries are faced with ethical challenges and questioning. According to Belkin, ethical challenges in relation to scientific discoveries result because people are not only terrified by what they can do but they are also exhilarated by dilemma of whether they can go further or not. For that reason, although advanced medical procedure pose as ethically wrong to the society, if these procedures are capable of saving life then the only response available is, why not adopt such procedures? Just as Belkin says “But though society may ask, “How could you?” the only question patients and families ask is, “How could we not” (Belkin 2). Families want such procedures which can justify the unethical side of these procedures. Similarly, Lauren Slater says “And psycho-surgery, by its very nature, brings with it, thicket of ethical twisters. Whose head is it” (Slater 234). Although other methods are available for treating certain diseases it is important to consider surgery since it helps to prevent death and save life. Similarly, research indicates that ethical challenges result when doctors decide to use advanced surgery when there is an alternative treatment to reduce the effects of certain diseases. People feel that an ethical challenge is presented when there is lack of animal testing to gauge whether certain treatment is save for human beings. As Salter says “As it is impossible to use animal testing to gauge whether or not DBS can treat depression and anxiety, the only guinea pigs available are people like Mario” (Slater 238). This phrase presents an ethical dilemma that is, if it is impossible to use animal treatment in testing the treatment is it ethical to treat Marion as a guinea pig? It is unethical to treat people as animals just to advance in medicine. With the increasing rate of death among children with Fanconi anemia, doctors have been faced with the ethical dilemmas of deciding whether or not to adopt advanced surgery in an effort to reduce this death. At the same time, people believe that surgery has an effect on patient’s social shaping as well as maintain control. Although this one is an ethical dilemma to doctors, research indicates that these are just psychiatrist’s targeting symptoms. Slater says “But anytime a psychiatrist tries to tweak with a patient’s mind, he does so in accordance with social expectation” (Slater 240). For that reason, in medical procedures, doctors are often faced with ethical dilemmas and they have to do in accordance to social expectations.
In an effort to find cure for major illnesses, ethics have often questioned the common practice in advanced surgery of whether the medics should be guided or…