Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do - Potter Stewart
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"Bioethics is an activity; it is a shared, reflective examination of ethical issues in health care, health science, and health policy. These fields have always had ethical standards, of course, handed down within each profession, and often without question. About forty years ago, however, it became obvious that we needed a more public, and more critical, discussion of these standards.
Bioethics is that discussion. It takes place in the media, in the academy, in classrooms, and in labs, offices, and hospital wards. It involves not just doctors, but patients, not just scientists and politicians but the general public. Traditional ethical standards have been articulated, reflected on, challenged, and sometimes revised; standards for new issues have been created – and then challenged and revised. The conversation is often sparked by new developments, like the possibility of cloning. But bioethics also raises new questions about old issues, like the use of placebos and the treatment of pain.
What is its Impact?
Bioethics has brought about significant changes in standards for the treatment of the sick and for the conduct of research. Every health care professional now understands that patients have a right to know what is being done to them, and to refuse. Every researcher now understands that participants in their studies have the same rights, and review boards to evaluate proposed research on those grounds are almost universal.
Our understanding of what is ethical has grown, but it is never complete. Ethical advances open new questions: We now see that getting “informed consent” does not rule out exploitation (for instance, of the desperately poor or the desperately sick); exploitation is hard to define. Scientific and technological success also force new choices: What, for instance, do we do with “unused” embryos created in fertility labs?
Finally, political and economic facts are just as challenging: One example is the fact that we are able to hire doctors and nurses away from the world’s poorest countries – but should we? These are urgent, practical questions. Bioethics makes a difference; it advances slowly; and it is not finished."
Source: What is Bioethics? Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University.
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Bioethics Research Library
The Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown University is a destination library for bioethics scholars worldwide and a remarkable historical study space for the Georgetown community.
Bioethics Resources on the Web
Bioethics Resources on the Web provides a compilation of web links to information of potential use and interest to diverse audiences—biomedical and behavioral researchers, health care professionals, research participants, patients and patient advocates, students and faculty in different disciplines, and the general public.
Bioethics.com is a public service provided by The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity in collaboration with many individuals and organizations to improve the discussion of issues in bioethics that span the spectrum of medicine, science, and technology.
The bioethics.net website is currently maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics. In service to anyone interested in bioethics, the website publishes information on the latest journal publications, events, job opportunities and current news. The site now includes original blog authorship by world-renowned bioethicsts, as well as being a one-stop-shop for popular syndicated bioethics blogs.
With no clearly defined boundaries, the subject of bioethics can get a little confusing at times.
Lately, I've been paying particular attention to news stories regarding patient-physician disagreement. As a medical student, I'm learning how to think like a doctor. That said, I still have a billion years of school, residency, and fellowship ahead of me. I don't think like a doctor yet. To a large extent, I'm still able to think like a patient. In some ways, patient-physician conflict mirrors my own cognitive dissonance.
Debate.org is a free online community and social networking site dedicated to people who like to debate online and read the opinions of others.
Good Doctor Puts Past Medical Practices Under An Ethical Microscope
Dr. Barron Lerner is a doctor and the son of a doctor. He grew up thinking his father was a wonderful, gifted and caring physician, which he was. But after Lerner started studying bioethics, he began questioning some of his father's practices — practices which were typical of many doctors in the '60s.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Bioethics is a rather young academic inter-disciplinary field that has emerged rapidly as a particular moral enterprise against the background of the revival of applied ethics in the second half of the twentieth century. The notion of bioethics is commonly understood as a generic term for three main sub-disciplines: medical ethics, animal ethics, and environmental ethics.
Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare
The Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare is dedicated to applied research and scholarship in all areas of behavioral healthcare ethics. Housed at the University of Pennsylvania, the ScattergoodEthics Program is a regional and national effort that welcomes all those active in the field of behavioral healthcare. Read more
The Ethics of Delay: A Good or a Bad?
Delay, something late or postponed, can be looked upon as either ethically good or ethically bad. The difference depends on the basis for the delay, whether it was intentional and, if so, what purpose and what was the outcome.