Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 19

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 19

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

Honor and dignity

There are ethical assessment categories, which reflect moral value of the personality and represent a social and individual assessment of moral qualities and human actions, which are a necessary condition for a doctor to perform his professional duty. Honor as a moral phenomenon is an external social recognition of a person’s deeds, his merits, manifested in esteem, authority, glory. Therefore, the sense of honor that is intrinsic to the physician as a person is associated with the desire to achieve high esteem on the part of others, praise, and fame. Dignity is, first of all, inner confidence in own value, sense of self-respect, manifested in resistance to attempts to encroach on their individuality and a certain independence. Dignity is something that a person has to conquer, to achieve in the process of his or her life. Professional Honor is awarded to a doctor according to the evaluation that he or she receives as a human being and as a member of the medical profession who performs his or her duty. Dignity, on the other hand, is the objective value of the person, which belongs to the person by birthright, because he or she is human (human dignity). Therefore, all patients, regardless of their social status, mental and physical state and behavior, have an equal right to recognition of their dignity.

Schweitzer Albert

He was (1875-1965) a German-French philosopher, physician, theologian, world-renowned for his humanistic actions, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and founder of free clinics in Africa. He is the author of the ethical principle of reverence for life. He believes that morality is not only a law, but also a condition for the existence and development of life. The organic unity of ethics and culture is the foundation of human progress and the spiritual perfection of the individual, the criterion of the development of which is humanism.


(from Ancient Greek eu - good and thanatos - death) This is a concept that means a voluntary painless death and reflects the natural desire of every person to die easy and peacefully. The concept of Euthanasia was introduced by F.Bacon in the seventeenth century. Euthanasia exists in two forms, passive and active. Passive Euthanasia The decision to stop treatment because the patient is hopeless; active Euthanasia Administration of high doses of narcotics, ending the suffering and life of hopeless patients. In modern literature, the typology is expanded by introducing the concepts of voluntary and unintended Euthanasia: Voluntary Euthanasia is performed when the patient is informed; unintended Euthanasia - without the patient’s consent. There are two main ethical arguments: mercy and “the golden rule of morality”. Proponents believe that active health care can be justified ethically in case of:

  1. an advanced and incurable disease that causes severe suffering and
  2. the most severe disability that limits vital functions. Opponents of voluntary active Euthanasia argue that:
  3. deliberate termination of human life is always immoral and cannot be morally justified;
  4. in case of wrong diagnosis many human lives can be lost in vain; if resorting to Euthanasia
  5. there may be abuses of “mercy killing” by doctors and relatives, who may be interested in the premature death of a sick person;
  6. the availability of Euthanasia may tempt doctors and relatives to get rid of the burden of care; 5. society, being guided by the lawfulness of Euthanasia,
  7. guided by the validity of the Euthanasia, society can obtain the right to get rid of its incompetent “useless” and “superfluous” members;
  8. it is immoral to involve in Euthanasia doctors, who represent the most humane profession. The comparison of arguments for and against legalization of Euthanasia leads to the conclusions that:
  9. it is necessary to legally restrict acts of Euthanasia, morally/legally unacceptable;
  10. active involuntary Euthanasia must be rejected as a violation of the right to life;
  11. passive involuntary Euthanasia can be admitted under special, specially-agreed-upon conditions of medical nature;
  12. voluntary Euthanasia (active/passive) and voluntary Euthanasia Voluntary (active and passive) death can be considered as realization of a person’s right to die with dignity.

Bioethical expertise

(from Latin expertus - experienced) The study of any issue related to research in the field of biology and medicine, with the presentation of a reasoned conclusion from the standpoint of the ethical legality, safety and expediency of this research. When conducting biomedical research, even at the level of its conception, general idea, and planning, the obligation of ethical expertise requires that not every conception, even those that are theoretically, technically, and methodologically flawless, will be implemented, but only those that pass ethical humanitarian expertise.

Last updated on Dec 14, 2021 23:51 UTC
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