n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Ethics in clinical practice : an overview : main article

Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Ethical dilemmas in clinical practice are usually complex. <BR>When faced with an ethical dilemma a holistic approach is required. <BR>The four-principle approach is useful but insufficient. <BR>The four-principles include respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. <BR>Medical facts, ethical concepts, legal precedents, human rights issues, institutional policy and socio-political norms must all be considered. <BR>In addition, patient preferences and the doctor's value system must be considered. Ethical analysis involves application of principles and theories and formulation of cogent arguments. <BR>The analysis and deliberation must translate into action in the form of a decision, treatment, or policy development and implementation. <BR>Patient care must be both scientifically sound and ethically justifiable. <BR>Health care professionals should be equipped to manage ethical dilemmas. <BR>However, where necessary, it may be useful to consult with a clinical ethics committee or a clinical ethicist.

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