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Biomedical issues - Essay Example

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This should further demand knowledge of legal considerations when ethical concepts are applied in Biomedicine. An in-depth awareness of limitations encountered by healthcare…
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Biomedical issues
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Biomedical Issues Introduction Understanding issues in Biomedicine needs one to understand what the law entails as well as ethics. This should further demand knowledge of legal considerations when ethical concepts are applied in Biomedicine. An in-depth awareness of limitations encountered by healthcare practitioners with regards to applied main codes of conduct during work is very important. Two concepts explored in Biomedicine are reproductive technologies and life maintenance technologies. Medical practitioners have applied four main theories in ethics to validate decisions adopted during their work processes. They evaluate consequences of their decisions to find out which ones are more valuable to the majority. They also stick to those defined as their responsibilities in their code of conduct. Considerations of individual rights and legal claims by patients work to cover certain cases. The personal reflex or feeling by the professional in terms of what they consider as the best option available at time of practice is also observed.
Nature of Ethics and Law
Ethics is an expected behavior within a society that is guarded by a moral code to differentiate between what is right and that which is wrong. Law on the other hand is an imposed legal code of conduct that is applied to everyone in the society. This differs from ethics which may be adopted by certain professions, groups or regions with an aim of developing a strict penalty for individuals who deviate.
Biomedicine and Main Ethical Concepts
There are five important concepts that need to be understood when we evaluate issues in biomedicine. Human beings are defined by their self awareness which is lacking in other animals. This means they are conscious of their impact and presence in the environment. The human beings also enjoy autonomy which defines their freedom of choice based on their ability to direct and control themselves. Informed consent is the decision making act based on full disclosure and awareness of factors, causes and repercussions surrounding a phenomenon of concern. Moral rights, is another concept that depends on values that are appreciated and observed by individuals within a society. These are sometimes binding in the eyes of the law thus healthcare practitioners have to be careful in their medical executions with regards to what is expected by their patients. Malfeasance is the malpractices or professional misconduct as brought forth by the healthcare practitioners.
Medical Ethics- Principle Codes of Conduct
The Hippocratic Oath guards patients’ right and how the practitioners relate with them. Confidentiality is emphasized as well as a caution on malfeasance especially when it comes to exposing colleagues to better their skills and knowledge in medicine. The Nuremburg Code takes care of medical research and experimentation to ensure no undue abuse, torture or patient exposure to health risks is practiced. The Helsinki Declaration further avails detailed policies meant to control research based on human beings.
Biomedical Issues
Reproductive Technology
This technology defies morals with regards to religion, traditions and sometimes general ethics in societies. Designer babies are an example of irregular methods of conception other than the traditional mating. Further adjustments to the embryos for improvement to ensure better species in human being leads to modifications that carry an advantage, but mess up with natural progress in reproduction. Surrogacy is a process fully embraced in reproductive technology whereby a baby may result from more than a single mother depending on binding contracts at various levels. One mother produces the ova which may be bought and implanted in a different preferred mother that will only acts as a carrier and deliver the baby for the custody of a third mother. This brings up the moral issue with regarding the real mother of the baby. Scientific parenting also operates under the same circumstances only that the genes of an unproductive mother are carried onto emptied ova of a fertile one and the process goes on with the characteristics of the unfertile mother. These often raise legal issues of custody.
Life maintenance technology
This involves all processes meant to sustain human lives in ways other than the natural/ biological processes. It involves improvisation and mechanization to ensure functioning of otherwise natural body parts.
Informed consent must be exercised whereby the medicine practitioner bears the sole responsibility of making sure the patient understands the procedure of choice, the possible dangers likely to be experienced by the patient as well as any other procedure that may be used in place of the preferred procedure. The patient has to be aware of the repercussions of not undergoing the treatment. Legally we need to analyze the capacity held by the individual to consent. The Nuremburg Code in medical research is customized on the subject and helps to remove chances of coercion by the practitioner or deliberate misleading of the patient.
In terms of life, artificial maintenance decisions are made at individual level involving a doctor, patient, office or a healthcare institution. The same are also considered at higher and far wider levels involving the government where individual contribution is restricted. Conflict between the two sets of decision making leads to legislations and guidelines that may work against the prevailing scarcity experienced of allocating replacement parts on individuals. The moral issues surrounding decisions on declaration of human body parts as spares for others all lean on definition of life and death. This varies across regions with some defining death as when the brain stops functioning and others when the heart stops beating. This is just one aspect of how variances in ethics arise with regards to life maintenance procedures. The end worry is perception of human body parts as ordinary good available for sale and thus a risk in a decrease in the value of the human life. People are voluntarily participating in medical research and experimentation for financial gain. Incidences have arisen whereby secret experimentation on human beings who are totally unaware of the process took place. This worked for a good cause but what of the victims who made the findings achievable?
Death is highlighted in Euthanasia where practitioners knowingly end a patient’s life. This is done either as Active or Passive Euthanasia. Active Euthanasia entails direct termination of a patient’s life to save them from prolonged agony from incurable illness. Passive Euthanasia happens through withholding patient care and treatment thus letting them weaken and pass on. Euthanasia has been controversial with regards to considerations of the informed concept. Abortion forms another part of intentional termination of the fetus before birth.
Development in Biomedicine in the future has great possibilities but we have to be careful on those that have negative effect to the essence of human beings based on philosophy, religion or ethics within our society. In reproductive technology, Human cells should not be allowed in the process of fertilization with other species. Human cloning should only be allowed if it leads to development of alternative replacement parts. Finally, mass production of development cells exposes them to higher chances of defects thus problematic in future generations. Life maintenance technologies are expensive and thus scarcity will demand mutual exclusiveness of target human beings either with regards to age or resourcefulness. Abortion will no longer be about debates and preferences of individuals but rather, the legislations that will be put forth to restrict the practice. It is inevitable that human beings will consider their peers as sources of faulty body parts. Availability of human spare parts may lead to a decline in valuation of the human life. Read More
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