Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 1

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 1

A brief review of the basic concepts of Biomedical Ethics. Part One. The following concepts will be discussed in this part: autonomy, adaptation, axiology, altruism, amoralism, anthropomorphism, apathy, ataraxia, affect.

The autonomous model of the doctor-patient relationship

This is based on the principle of patient autonomy, respect for individual autonomy, and a commitment to the welfare of the patient. It assumes an ethically sound medical decision based on mutual respect for the physician and the patient and their active joint participation in this process, which requires competence, awareness of the patient and the voluntary nature of the decision.


(from Greek autonomia: autos - himself and nomos - law) a principle of medical ethics based on the unity of rights of the doctor and the patient, suggesting their mutual dialogue, in which the right of choice and responsibility are not concentrated entirely in the hands of the doctor, but are distributed between him and the patient. According to the Autonomy principle, the patient makes his or her own decisions about treatment, after the physician has been informed about his or her state of health. Complex medical interventions are carried out with the written consent of the patient, who is informed of their purpose and possible results. The ethical basis of the Autonomy principle is the concept of the autonomy of the individual - his or her independence and right to self-determination.


(from Latin adaptatio - adaptation) is:

  1. the process of adaptation of self-organizing systems to changing environmental conditions (for example, changes in temperature, oxygen content);
  2. the result of the process of adaptation, i.e. the availability of the system adaptability to some environmental factors;
  3. in psychology the concept of adaptation (disadaptation) is used to analyze the relationship of an individual (personality) with the environment. In bioethics it is applied to biological systems (a separate organism, its organs, to a population of organisms), reflecting an appropriate response of a complex self-organizing hierarchical system to changing environmental conditions.


(from the Greek axios - value and logos - word, concept) is the study of values, the purpose of which is to investigate the higher meaning-forming principles as a condition of the necessary and generally meaningful distinction between true and false, good and evil, just and unjust. The most important questions of Axiology are: what is good, the place of value in the structure of being - object reality, its significance for the subject and society.


(from the Latin alter - the other) - selfless, conscious and voluntary service to people, the desire to help others, to contribute to their happiness, on the basis of love, loyalty, loyalty, mutual help, sympathy, compassion.


(from the Greek a - not, without, and Lat. Moralis - moral)

  1. general-historical phenomenon, expressed in negation of generally accepted moral norms in human behavior;
  2. principle of practical or ideological orientation, justifying the legitimacy of nihilistic attitude to common human moral norms in human behavior;
  3. characteristic of the aggregate of negative human qualities, his acts and lifestyle (baseness, dishonesty, unprincipled, betrayal, dishonesty, deceit, etc.), and also the negative human qualities.)


A giving human properties to the phenomena of nature, animals, objects - their “humanization”, as well as the representation of the gods in a human image. Anthropocentrism is a worldview according to which man is the center of the universe and the ultimate goal of all creation.


(from Greek apatheia - insensitivity) is a term in ancient ethics that means impassivity, serenity, and the ability to control oneself. It was considered an essential quality of wisdom, enabling the ability to overcome affects and passions, the most important of which were grief, fear, lust, and the desire for pleasure. In biomedical ethics, the concept of apathy is relevant to the study of the human right to life and the human right to “die with dignity”, the moral problems of euthanasia, etc.


(from Greek ataraxia - equanimity) is a term from ancient ethics that refers to a state of peace of mind, serenity, immunity of the soul to affects, the transfer of attention from external circumstances to the inner state and the preference of the mind over feelings. The state of Ataraxia is a concentration on “the most general and important things,” which helps us get rid of the anxiety in the soul that arises primarily from false opinions about gods and death.


(from Latin affectus - mental agitation, passion) - relatively short-term, strong and stormy emotional experience (fear, horror, despair, rage, etc.), accompanied by a cry, cry, sharp expressive movements, can disrupt the normal course of perception, thought, cause confusion up to the pathological form. Some biotechnical achievements to change states of consciousness are also accompanied by affectation, which should be taken into account in bio-ethical research on humans.

Victor Sanikovich - Data Science Engineer / Environmental Scientist / Full Stack Developer / DevSecOps / Blockchain Developer