Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 11

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 11

A brief review of the basic concepts of Biomedical Ethics. The following concepts will be discussed in this part:

Special (unusual) people

These people with impairments or serious obstacles to physical or mental development. The term was introduced by Russian Professor D.N. Isaev as a humanistic alternative to the traditional term “inferior people,” in direct violation of bioethical principles that prohibit segregation on any grounds. The main ethical problem is related to the unpreparedness of society and specialists - doctors and educators - to include these people (children) in the system of social relations, to consistently carry out their adaptation, to create conditions for their “normalization”.

Moral assessment

This is a judgment that expresses a moral attitude toward the phe- nomena of the value world (approval - disapproval, good - evil, right - wrong, etc.). In bioethics Moral assessment plays a role of moral sanction of conducted biomedical researches with human participation, application of new biomedical knowledge and technologies, the latest achievements of biomedical science and health care practice.

Medical mistake

In medical ethics the medical error is closely connected to the concept of responsibility. The problem of correlation of Medical mistake and moral responsibility of the doctor is based on a number of statements:

  1. the reasons of Medical mistake are consisted in extreme complexity of the object that doctors deal with, in dramatically increased activity of modern methods of treatment and diagnostics, in progressing specialization in medicine and often don’t depend on the personality of a doctor;
  2. registration, systematization, analysis and study of Medical mistake should be a base for development of scientific and research work. It is not always easy: the ignorance of a doctor must lead to his disqualification, the ignorance can be a result of “honest mistake”;
  3. the causal link between the actions (or inaction) of a doctor and the health deterioration or even death of a patient doesn’t mean yet the guilt of a doctor: it can be an accident, though in the moral and ethical sense it is still a defeat for the doctor in the fight for life and health of the patient entrusted to him. If in the moral sense Medical mistake can be excused due to objective or subjective circumstances - cramped, non-optimal conditions of the doctor’s activity, exceptional complexity of the medical profession, then in the legal sense the emphasis is made on the culpability of the doctor and, consequently, his responsibility, so the differentiation of the “accident” or “Medical mistake” concepts for legal authorities has no independent meaning. From the point of view of medical ethics, a physician must always be honest with himself or herself and admit his or her professional errors, which is viewed not as heroism and exclusivity, but as a professional ethical norm for physicians. The presence in medical practice of Medical mistake and accidents as unavoidable phenomena accompanying medical treatment should not mean “the doctor’s right to make a mistake”, which could generate elementary professional dishonesty. From a medical ethical perspective, the attitude toward professional errors should be irreconcilable. Therefore, medical ethics requires a direct and unflattering moral evaluation of each Medical mistake


(from Greek rap - all and psyche - soul) This is a viewpoint according to which all of nature has a psyche. Assumption of spiritual atoms immortality, wandering in the world and moving into different organisms (K.E. Tsiolkovsky).


(Paracelsus: real name Philippus, Quredus Theophrastus Bombastus van Hohenheim)(1493-1541) He was a doctor and chemist, one of the most prominent representatives of early Renaissance culture. He was born in Switzerland into a family of physicians and was educated at a university in Italy. He fought against abuses and embezzlement of pharmacists and doctors connected with them. He is known for his statements about the public image and duty of the doctor: “The doctor dares not be a torturer, nor a hangman, nor a servant of the hangman.


(from Latin paternus) This is a principle of biomedical ethics that defines a form of care for the needs of another (patient), similar to the way a father cares for his child. The essence of Paternalism is that the doctor not only assumes the obligation to act based on the patient’s good, but also independently decides what this good consists of. It is also solely up to the doctor to decide to what extent and in what aspects the patient can receive reliable information about his or her condition, treatment strategies, tactics and perspectives. Extreme forms of Paternalism deprive the patient of the right to choose both in relation to the treating physician and in relation to the treatment strategy and tactics. Thus, Paternalism carries with it a violent restriction of the freedom of the individual due to a “concern” for his or her well-being.

Last updated on Dec 14, 2021 23:43 UTC
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