Featured image of post A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 4

A Brief Guide to Biomedical Ethics - Part 4

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


This is a peculiar psycho-physiological state of a person, a grievous, oppressive sensation arising under the influence of strong or destructive external influences that cause organic or functional disorders in the body. Pain is a protective reaction of the body and plays a positive role in the life of living beings, as long as it prevents or protects the body from the impending danger, or helps the doctor to recognize the disease. Prolonged pain, on the other hand, which cannot be cured, disturbs the vital functions of the organism and can cause serious disorders.

Botkin E.S.

He is a famous Russian doctor, who in 1900 publicly set up a question “How desirable and possible is it to draw up a code of ethics for doctors? He thought that it would give the possibility to learn the opinion of his colleagues on different questions; it would help to bring the doctors closer to the public, it would regulate the doctor’s attitude towards his patients.

Vegetative existence

(Latin vegetativus - vegetative) This is biological existence of an organism in an unconscious state due to the cessation of brain functioning. Medical care is the artificial maintenance of the basic life functions of the body with the help of equipment, which helps to reproduce only the biological - rational - life, which will never become autonomous-sustained, but is doomed to progressive degradation. With appropriate medical care, the patient’s body can maintain this plant-animal existence for as long as it wants. But since brain damage is irreversible, a person with a non-functioning brain ceases to be a person (the Quinlan case).

Veresaev V.V.

The Russian physician and author (1867-1945), abandoned his medical practice for the sake of the literary creativity, the author of the book “Doctor’s Notes” (1901), devoted to the medical ethics, ambiguously estimated by his contemporaries. The book contains many productive ideas on the role of medicine in society; on training future medical specialists; on the problem of medical secrecy; on conducting medical research on humans and animals, etc.


This is a doctrine about the fundamental difference between living and nonliving systems, the irreducibility of living processes to the laws of inorganic nature, and the presence in living systems of special forces and principles absent in nonliving systems, such as rationality, non-disintegration, etc. According to Vitality, living organisms are characterized by expediently acting life force and holistic causality, while inanimate bodies are characterized by “causality of elements”. In modern science many characteristics, which W. considered inherent only to biological systems, are considered as manifestations of all complex self-organizing systems, and peculiarities of living systems are revealed in the context of their origin and genesis of life (see: synergetics).


(from Latin vita - life and Greek logos - doctrine) This is the science of life and its supreme form - a human being as a integral, spiritual and material entity. Its purpose is to prevent the occurrence of situations incompatible with life, for which mankind must switch to a qualitatively different way of existence. He does not see the transformation of the world through training, education and perfection of man as an effective means to improve the human species, for the point of application is man himself. Vitalogy sees his task as directing all efforts to the cognition and perfection of the human soul, to help man solve these problems and find happiness. Vitalogy’s basic concepts are outlined in the book Seven Steps to the Golden Age.


This is a person’s ability to regulate and self-regulate activity and behavior, expressed in the active overcoming of difficulties, contradictions and conflicts in achieving consciously set goals; it expresses human individuality, serves self-affirmation and self-expression of the “I”.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

THis is a specialized agency of the United Nations, the largest international medical organization, which declared the purpose of its activity is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health” (Art. 1 of the WHO Constitution). In 1994 WHO formulated three basic components underlying the modern model of relations between the doctor and the patient (the right of all people to health, the patient’s right to information, the doctor’s obligation to explain everything the patient is interested in), and officially approved the principle of providing the patient with reliable and understandable for him information, and the doctor - providing access to objective and verifiable information.

Moral choice

This is a form of moral freedom. Choice is provided by reason and will. Every decision is made by reason, which prepares the ground for making Moral choice, which is realized by the informed will: it drives reason, prescribing its decision-making, and reason provides the will with the appropriate goals and means of choice. The doctor’s Moral choice is determined by the hierarchy of values prevalent in medical ethics, in which human life is a priority value and human health is the highest good.

Gaaz Friedrich Josephovich

(Fedor Petrovich) (1780-1953) He is physician and public figure. He was born in Germany, received education in universities of Jena and Vienna, moved to Russia in 1803. From 1828 to the end of his life he was a member of the Moscow provincial prison committee and the chief doctor of Moscow prisons. All his life FE Haaz devoted to the care of prisoners convicted to hard labor, their children, the sick and the homeless poor. On donations collected by Fedor Petrovich Haaz, a hospital was built in Moscow, where the homeless, victims of fires, cold and hunger were admitted for treatment. “Gaaz has no refusal” this is the saying people have made about him. On his grave stone is inscribed the motto of his life: “Hasten to do good.

Last updated on Dec 14, 2021 20:40 UTC
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