Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 18

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 18

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

Dying with Dignity

This is symbolizes the moral concern for the dying person, equally affecting both his or her personal dignity and the dignity of society, which must protect the dignity of each person through its actions. “Dying with dignity” implies care for the dying patient, manifested in respect for both his bodily and spiritual dignity. It includes psychological and ethical dimensions: respect for personal uniqueness of the patient, his or her philosophical and religious views and beliefs, his or her national affiliation; care for hygienic and aesthetic condition of the dying person’s body. “Dying with dignity” also implies a well-considered decision to leave the life of the patient himself, which should be seen as a manifestation of personal self-respect, as it is associated with a value-based approach to life.

Fetotherapy’s ethical problem

This is the transplantation of fetal cells; it can be used in the treatment of serious diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic damage to the spinal cord, liver and heart disease, myodystrophy, and osteogenesis imperfecta. The bioethical issue is the permissibility of the use of fetal cells and material left over from abortions.


There are special organizations for the care of the dying, special medical and social institutions in which hopelessly ill people are given the opportunity to end their lives with dignity. The environment and the work of the staff are aimed at creating human conditions for dying with dignity. Their difference from other institutions for “hopeless” patients consists not only in different technical and medicamentous equipment, but also in a different philosophy of doctoring, according to which a “living space” necessary for the patient’s condition is created; here the patient’s personality, his desires and emotional reactions are put forward in the first place. The hospice philosophy is based on the idea that death, like birth, is a natural process that cannot be rushed or halted. The dying person needs a special kind of help: he or she can and should be helped to cross the border between life and death. In hospice X. is not a home for death, it is a home for quality life until the end, in which relationships between patients and medical personnel are based on the principles of hospice movement:

  1. control of pain syndromes, allowing qualitative improvement of the patient’s life;
  2. the final stage of life of a person aware that he dies must become for him a stage of intensive spiritual work, filled with deep meaning;
  3. work in X. Medical workers were expected to be particularly attentive to and sensitive to patients who were dying;
  4. medical workers were expected under no circumstances to demand or agree to charge patients or their relatives;
  5. there was a large civic movement of volunteers, volunteers who selflessly helped the dying;
  6. psychological help and support for relatives of the dying;
  7. denial of the tactic of “holy lies”. The fulfillment of these principles depends on the training and personal qualities of medical personnel. Nowadays a new medical specialty is being formed for Hospices service, studying the process of ending of life - doctor of palliative care.


This is a term used in philosophy and sociology to indicate the human, social and cultural significance of certain objects and phenomena, referring to the world of the proper, purposeful, meaningful, abso- lute.

Value orientations

There are elements of a person’s internal structure, formed and consolidated by the individual’s life experience in the course of socialization and social adaptation processes. Value orientations are primarily preferences of certain meanings, goals and basic means of achieving them; hierarchy of ethical and social values, beliefs, life-organizing principles shared by a person, readiness to behave according to them and therefore acquire the function of the most important regulators of social behavior of individuals.

Last updated on Dec 14, 2021 23:51 UTC
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