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Ethics – Morality Essay

1. Definition of Ethics It studies how man ought to behave. Ethics is a thoughtful review of how to act in the best interest of patients and their family. It is also about making good choices based on beliefs and values regarding life, health, suffering and death. Relationship of Ethics in other branches of science: * Ethics and Logic- Studies the correct and organized thinking of a man. Focused foremost on demands of materials, nonhuman world, or world of “things” in one’s environment it is people-oriented * Ethics and Psychology- Both deals with the study of man and his behavior. Studies how man ought to behave.

Concerned with man’s moral obligation or the result of his behavior. It studies the human behavior from the perspective of morality. * Ethics and Sociology- Sociology deals with the study of social order and human relations in a society. Sociology is related to Ethics because Ethics deals with the study of moral orders in a society. Importance of Ethics: Ethics form the base ground of values, which differ from one culture to another. Ethics was applied in health care system, since ancient Egyptian times. A physician has moral obligations towards his patient based on physician – patient’s relationship.

The ethical principle of confidentiality confirms that patient can trust his health care provider not to disclose any information that the patient may have given in order to get cured. A current ethical issue in research involving human participant’s informed consent has prime importance. The subject and his guardian must have the capacity to understand the issue in question and the possible risks of treatment in the trial study. We need to do more to ensure that medical research practices are sound and ethical, and the goals of research should be secondary to the well being of the participants.

The study of ethics and the study and practice of healthcare have not merged much in the past, but nevertheless ethical standards are essential to the practice of the health professions. Each professional discipline has its own code of conduct, guidelines for practice and philosophy of care to direct practice within its professional remit. There have been several international declarations of human rights within healthcare to protect patients from unethical practices that might nevertheless be portrayed to them as necessary evils in the course of scientific research and utilitarian principles – that is, the greater good.

Despite the relative lack of moral philosophy and healthcare ethics in the curricula of healthcare professionals, it does not take long for anyone in clinical practice to face their first ethical dilemma about which they are called upon to make a judgment or have a view. In any healthcare system, whether organized and managed by the state or government or by the independent sector (private or non-governmental/voluntary) – or any mixture of these – moral issues will frequently be raised and should challenge the practitioner, teacher, manager or researcher.

Establishing moral codes of practice between the various organizations mentioned above is important at the outset of any professional relationship or client encounter. For the practitioner the appropriate use of professional power, compared with the relative vulnerability of the lay client/patient during the first meeting, establishes the relationship for all future transactions between the two parties. In the context of progressive illness there are many occasions that will challenge this relationship as the illness trajectory takes its course. 2. Basic concepts in Ethics.

Definition of Human Acts Human Acts (Actus Humani) refer to “actions that proceed from insight into the nature and purpose of one’s doing and from consent of free will”. Specifically, human acts are those actions done by a person in certain situations, which are essentially the result of his conscious knowledge, freedom and voluntariness, or consent. Hence, man performs these actions knowingly, freely, and voluntarily. Aspects of Human Acts * The Act Itself or the Object Of The Act. The act itself refers to the action that is done or performed by an agent, or simply, what the person does.

This is the “substance of a moral act”, and here regarded as the basic factor of morality. More concretely, the object of the act is “that act effect which an action primarily and directly causes (finis operis). It is always necessary that the result of the act, independent of any circumstances or of the intention of the agent. ” * The Motive or the Intention. The motive is the purpose that for the sake of which something is done. It is the reason behind our acting. It answers the question “why the person does what he does? ”. Man normally performs an act as a means to achieve an end or goal, different from an act itself.

And since the motive or intention is practically present in all human acts, it then becomes an important and integral part of morality. * The Circumstances. It refers to the various conditions outside of the act. They are not part and parcel of the act itself. Circumstances are conditions that influence, to a lesser or greater degree, the moral quality of the human act. The moral goodness or badness of an act is determined not only by the object or act itself, plus the motive or intention of the moral agent, but also on the circumstances or situation surrounding the performance of the action.

Classification of Human Acts * Elicited Acts. These are actions performed by the will. (Wish, Intention, Consent, Election, Use) * Commanded acts. These are those acts done by man’s mental or bodily powers under the command of the will. (External and Internal Actions) Constituents of Human Acts * Knowledge. A human act as a deliberate act is a KNOWING ACT. No human act is possible without knowledge. * Freedom. The CAPACITY or POWER to choose between two or more courses of actions WITHOUT being forced to take one or the other by anything except our own will.

* Voluntariness. A human act is a WILL- ACT. A voluntary act is different from what is merely WILLED and cannot be controlled by the will, as good or bad. Modifiers of Human Acts * Ignorance. It is the absence of necessary knowledge, which a person in a given situation, who is performing a certain act, ought to have. Ignorance therefore is a negation of knowledge. It can be classified as Vincible or Invincible Ignorance. * Passion or Concupiscence. It is here understood as a strong or powerful feeling or emotion.

It refers more specifically to those bodily appetites or tendencies as experienced and expressed in such feelings as fear, love, hatred, despair, horror, sadness, anger, grief and the like. Passions are either classified as Antecedent or Consequent. * Fear. It is defined as the disturbance of the mind of a person who is confronted by an impending danger or harm to himself or loved ones. Fear may be considered a passion, which arises as an impulsive movement of avoidance of a threatening evil, ordinarily accompanied by bodily services. * Violence.

It is generally referred to any physical force exerted on a person by another free agent for the purpose of compelling the said person to act against his will. * Habit. It is a constant and easy way of doing things acquired by the repetition of the same act. Habit is a lasting readiness and facility, born of frequently repeated acts, for acting in certain manner. Definition of Morality Ethics and morality are two words, which are oftentimes used interchangeably, not just in ordinary discourse and in popular media but also in academic discussions.

Etymologically, the word “ethics” is derived from the Greek word “ethos”, which can be roughly translated in English as custom or a particular way and manner of acting and behaving. The Latin equivalent for custom is “mos” or “mores”. It is from this root word that the term “moral” or “morality” is derived. The two terms, ethics and morality, in this sense, therefore, have literally the same meaning. That is why ethics is usually taken synonymous with morality. Also because of this, ethics is also called morality, or more precisely, the other name of ethics is morality.

Norms of Morality The general way in which a given society or group operates is largely determined by societal norms of morality. These norms are composed of the rules by which people are supposed to operate within that society, and these rules can be explicit or implicit. According to the definition of societal norms of morality, they are subject to change from society to society and age to age. If a particular social norm becomes unpopular, it ceases to be a social norm. There are, of course, some societal norms that are viewed with differing perspectives even within a society.

Because of this, any given society can be broken down into further subgroups that share a more common set of societal norms. This process can, in theory, continue all the way to the individual level, at which point it ceases due to the obvious need for more than one person to constitute a group. Understanding and adhering to social norms begins at birth, and most of these social norms are so ingrained within an individual that it is difficult to see that they exist. Formal social norms are quite easy to spot, of course, because they are recorded in some way and require a specific punishment if they are not followed.

Informal social norms make up the vast majority of social norms, however, and are much easier to miss. They take the form of folkways, which are rather informal norms that are ordinarily followed, but do not carry great consequences when broken, and mores, which are also informal, but carry great consequences when broken. The development of social norms is inevitable, and the pressure to conform to them is great. There are occasions upon which the larger group conforms to the norms of the individual or a small group, but it is far more likely that the individual or small group will conform to the norms of those in the majority.

It is important to be aware of social norms so that the actions an individual can determine which social norms are worthy of challenging and which serve a useful purpose. Many of these social norms will not ever be noticed because they are a core part of each person, but it is still useful to reflect upon those which can be noticed. Determinants of Morality The factors in human conduct that determine whether it is good or bad. There are three such determinants of morality, namely the object, the end, and the circumstances.

By object is meant what the free will chooses to do–in thought, word, or deed-or chooses not to do. Be end is meant the purpose for which the act is willed, which may be the act itself (as one of loving God) or some other purpose for which a person acts (as reading to learn). In either case, the end is the motive or the reason why an action is performed. By circumstances are meant all the elements that surround a human action and affect its morality without belonging to its essence. A convenient listing of these circumstances is to ask: who? Where? How? How much?

By what means? How often? Some circumstances so affect the morality of an action as to change its species, as stealing a consecrated object becomes sacrilege and lying under oath is perjury. Other circumstances change the degree of goodness or badness of an act. In bad acts they are called aggravating circumstances, as the amount of money a person steals. To be morally good, a human act must agree with the norm of morality on all three counts: in its nature, its motive, and its circumstances. Departure from any of these makes the action morally wrong. Definition of Rights.

Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology. Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived. ” The connection between rights and struggle cannot be overstated — rights are not as much granted or endowed as they are fought for and claimed, and the essence of struggles past and ancient are encoded in the spirit of current concepts of rights and their modern formulations. Definition of Duties.

A duty to use care toward others that would be exercised by an ordinarily reasonable and prudent person in order to protect them from unnecessary risk of harm in a typical medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to show that the physician had a legal duty of care to the patient, that the physician breached that duty, and that the breach caused injury to the plaintiff. Divisions of Duties An appropriate division of duties is the first basic principle of internal control.

Remember, the basic point is that no single person should handle a transaction from beginning to end. The primary reason is to prevent an individual from having enough control over a transaction to where errors and/or irregularities can occur and go undetected for extended periods of time. An appropriate division of duties should also produce warning signals when errors and /or irregularities do occur. It is important to keep in mind that a good division of duties does not guarantee that things will operate, as they should.

This is because two or more people can be involved in wrongdoing (i. e. collusion). Unannounced rotation of job duties and surprise audits can help reduce the chances of collusion. 3. Disablement Terminologies Disability * Inability to function normally, physically or mentally; incapacity. * Inability to pursue an occupation because of physical or mental impairment * The term “disability” summarizes a great number of different functional limitations occurring in any population in any country, of the world.

People may be disabled by physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, medical conditions or mental illness. Such impairments, conditions or illnesses may be permanent or transitory in nature. Functional Limitation * Any health problem that prevents a person from completing a range of tasks, whether simple or complex. Handicap * A disadvantage for the given individual resulting from impairment or a disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a task that is normal in that individual.

* A disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult. * The term “handicap” means the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the life of the community on an equal level with others. It describes the encounter between the person with a disability and the environment. The purpose of this term is to emphasize the focus on the shortcomings in the environment and in many organized activities in society, for example, information, communication and education, which prevent persons with disabilities from participating on equal terms.

Impairment (Indirect and Composite) * To cause to diminish, as in strength, value, or quality: an injury that impaired my hearing a severe storm impairing communications. * Any abnormality of, partial or complete loss of, or loss of the function of, a body part, organ, or system. * An injury, illness, or congenital condition that causes or is likely to cause a loss or difference of physiological or psychological function.


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