Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 17

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 17

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


(from Greek - thanatos - death, logos - teaching) This is a branch of medicine, studying the causes, signs and mechanisms of death, the course of dying, changes in body tissues, associated with dying and death, as well as ethical issues of medical intervention in the processes of dying - reviving the body (resuscitation) and relief of dying pains of the patient (euthanasia).


(from the Greek tele - far away) Distant, remote medicine, the provision of medical care using the latest computer technology and remote radio and television communication facilities.


A concept with several meanings:

  1. a living organism in its co-relationship with the soul;
  2. natural natural bodies (endowed and not endowed with life, studied by physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, etc., respectively);
  3. man-made bodies in the process of civilizational development. In modern bioethics the most important problems associated with the concept of body are the problem of organ transplantation, use of the bodies of dead people and animal bodies in biomedical research.


(from Latin tolerantia - patience) Tolerance to different views, opinions, norms of behavior, communication and activities, different from those adhered to by a particular person or society as a whole, self-control, tolerance, the ability for mutual understanding and coordination of different interests. In medical ethics, the principle of tolerance implies concern for the preservation of human life and health, the prevention of disease, and the alleviation of suffering, regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, social and material status, political beliefs, or creed.


This is ethical problems (from Latin transplantare to transplant) - transplantation of organs with their subsequent engraftment within one organism (autotransplantation), or from one organism to another of the same species (homotransplantation), or another species (heterotransplantation), or even within different species (xenotransplantation). The main ethical problems of Transplantation include, first of all, the problem of the donor and the recipient. Theoretically, provided the doctor observes high moral principles, donors of the necessary organ can be:

  1. relatives of a patient voluntarily donating one of their organs;
  2. a stranger who gave voluntary and conscious consent to take his organs or tissues;
  3. a corpse of a just-dead person. however, by law, a stranger cannot sell or donate his organ (even a paired one) during his lifetime. This means that in the absence of relatives or their consent to the surgery the necessary organ can be taken only from a corpse, the sooner the better. There is a serious ethical contradiction between resuscitators trying to save the life of a dying person (even a hopeless patient) and transplantologists who are waiting for his/her death, as it will enable them to save the life of another. In many countries the problem of using cadaver organs for Transplantation has already received a legal solution, possible in two variants:
  4. legally formalizing the transfer of one’s organs to others - for their subsequent use after death;
  5. giving the doctor the legal right to “take away” the organs of a deceased patient necessary for Transplantation purposes. Other ethical-philosophical problems of Transplantation are connected with the danger of transformation of donorship into a commercial operation (purchase, sale of human organs or priority right in the list of those on the waiting list for the donor organ). That is why in organ and tissue transplantation the deontological principle of collegiality should be observed when making decisions.
Last updated on Dec 14, 2021 23:50 UTC
Victor Sanikovich - Data Science Engineer / Environmental Scientist / Full Stack Developer / DevSecOps / Blockchain Developer