Intro to medical law and ethics Flashcards Preview

Year 3 - Ethics and Law > Intro to medical law and ethics > Flashcards

Flashcards in Intro to medical law and ethics Deck (16)
Loading flashcards...

What are ethics?

The body of moral principles or values governing or distinctive of a particular culture or group


Where do ethical principles come from?

Two traditions:
1) Duties: "Right and Wrong" actions; action by individuals or group, Absolute values


2) Considering the benefits and harms to the individual as well as society; looking at the consequences as a whole and not just to the individual

UTILITARIANISM (a type of consequentialism)


What comprises Ethics?

- Principles
- Values
- Honesty
- Standards, rules of behaviour that guide the decisions, procedures and conduct of individuals that respect the rights of all stakeholders affected by its operations”


What is meant by morality?

Our attitudes, behaviours and relations to one another


What is meant by consequentialism?

The moral worth of an action is determined by its outcome


What is utilitarianism?

Described by Jermey Bentham:

The greatest good for the greatest number (maximising pleasure/ happiness and minimising pain/ unhappiness)


Components of ethics and clinical decisions?

1) Duties
2) Four principles:
- Respect for Autonomy
- Non-malfeasance
- Beneficence
- Justice


Respect for autonomy?

- Promote the right to self determination
- Confidentiality, informed consent, promote capacity



The avoidance of harm



To do good



- Fairness/equality = Non discrimination and equal treatment for equal need.

- Individual versus population = Rationing, limits to autonomy


How to stay ethical

- Non-judgmental approach
- Not imposing personal views & respecting patients’ views
- Confidentiality
- Not exceeding your competency
- Fitness to practise


GC guide to non-judgemental approach?

GMC guide 2006: you must not discriminate on grounds of age, colour, culture, disability, ethnic or national origin, gender, lifestyle, marital or parental status, race, religion or beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, or social or economic status.


Not Imposing Your Personal Views and Respecting Patients’ Views

- Fair presentation of facts/options
not letting your views affect your advice/actions
(Should you divulge your opinions?)

- Willingness to refer elsewhere

- Not bullying/belittling etc (also applies to colleagues, juniors, other health workers etc)


Fitness to practice?

It is not just about competency

You have a specific duty to take appropriate action to protect patients, not just by your own actions but also to protect patients if you or others are unfit to practise.


Duty of candour?

This means that you must be open and honest with patients when something goes wrong with a patient’s treatment or care which causes, or has the potential to cause, harm or distress. Even if the patient is unaware or has not complained.

You must apologise to the patient and offer an appropriate remedy or support to put matters right (if possible) and explain fully the short and long term effects of what has happened.

Requires complete honesty to not only the patient but also the relevant organisations (Employer, health authority etc) even if there is only the potential for compromise