The Concept of Philosophy and Ethics Questions in Healthcare.
The Concept of Philosophy and Ethics Questions in Healthcare
Philosophy and ethics go hand in hand. It is extremely difficult to define ethics without the inclusion of philosophy. The concept of philosophical ethics has for many years been claimed to have the best answer for the question, what is ethical? While philosophy is defined as the study of knowledge, nature and truth particularly on a theoretical basis, ethics on the other side are rules of behavior or moral principles used to determine what is morally right and what is morally wrong. The combination of the two is what gives birth to the concept of philosophical ethics. This particular concept deals with moral philosophy by exploring the nature of moral virtues that help to establish why people ought to act the way they do.
I agree with the proposition that philosophy is the most suitable discipline for addressing ethics questions in healthcare. As learned from the previous classes, philosophy of healthcare focuses on the care of human life by ensuring that human beings are of good health which is one of the core components of human social structures. Similarly, it seeks to address the moral questions that arise from the healthcare field, especially those that touch on the well-being and privacy of the patients and the responsibilities the health caregivers have towards their patients. Healthcare is a very distinctive institution within the society. Whether we like it or not, we are all part of it. Questions such as whether a patient deserves a certain mode of treatment and whether he or she can afford it are always present in a healthcare setting. Additionally, physicians are sometimes faced with medical dilemmas which require very informed decisions. These are just but a few of the many issues that demand the intervention of philosophy in their determination.
As I discussed earlier, philosophical ethics help to distinguish good from bad by explaining why people ought to act the way that they do. In the institution of healthcare, the rules, regulations, and principles that govern all of the stakeholders in it are drawn from the norms of philosophical ethics. Whether it’s the physicians, the patients, the administration or the government, they are all governed by the rules of ethics. For instance, physicians are restrained from telling their patients of their diagnosis when it is presupposed that such information would only increase their suffering. Morally, this is the right thing to do. It is also ethical. Any rational man would be expected to be of the same opinion. This, therefore, demonstrates how philosophical ethics is closely intertwined with the concept that seeks to describe what ethical entails.
Lastly, the concept of philosophical ethics can be applied to the community at large particularly in making healthcare better for all and sundry. Because ethics differentiate right from wrong and good from bad, members of the community are therefore required to act more responsible. A good example is when people respect smoking bans even when they limit their right of liberty. They do this because they appreciate the fact that smoking in restricted places is not only bad but also morally wrong. Similarly, when the general public participates in medical research, it shows that they feel morally obliged to contribute to such studies for their common good and benefit.
It is obviously clear that one cannot answer the question; what is ethical without bringing in the concept of philosophical ethics. Philosophy as a discipline plays a major role in determining ethics. It is only through philosophy that one can appropriately understand the underlying norms of ethics. Subsequently, one is able to define ‘ethical’ within the limits of philosophy. The same is applicable in the healthcare institution whereby ethics are largely governed and dictated through philosophy.
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