Preface: This post was written after reading an entry on Jody Lutzke’s blog:
Throughout the history of medicine and healing, the issue of Biomedical Ethics has been a concern. In Western Medicine, physicians take the Hippocratic Oath. Every culture has its own codes of ethics regarding medical practises; however, one commonality is that every culture encounters biomedical dilemmas in one form or another. Listed below are some links for studying biomedical ethics in general:
There are many areas of biomedical dilemmas: a rather long text could quite easily be composed on the subject of biomedical ethics. These are the three I have chosen to focus on for this post:
1. Respect for human rights - The principle tenet of the Hippocratic Oath is “do no harm”. In the past, some medical studies have violated this tenet in the pursuit of data.
An example of the misuse of psychology and a severe example of child abuse. Based on the idea of conditioning.
From 1932-1972 African-American males with syphilis were studied and not treated for their disease while being lied to and told they were getting treatment for ‘bad blood’. In spite of penicillin being diagnosed as a cure for the disease for twenty-five of the years the study took place, no one was treated. This case is dramatized in the film, Miss Evers’ Boys (1997).
2. Euthanasia - The right to die or voluntary termination for terminal patients is highly controversial.
Euthanasia is only legal in: the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Estonia, Albania, and the US states of Washington, Oregon and Montana.
The most famous case in Canada is the Sue Rodrieguez case which she narrowly lost her case in the Supreme Court of Canada and later had an anonymous doctor euthanize her.
3. Abortion - The name given to the debate between those that call themselves:
· Pro-Choice - a woman should have the right to choose what happens to her body
· Pro-Life - the fetus is a person and no one has the right to kill them
Listed below are some famous cases regarding the abortion debate:
The most famous biomedical case in North American history. It was the front line of the pro-choice, pro-life debate and continues to be to this day.
This story, posted by my classmate, Jody Lutzke on her blog was the original inspiration for me to write this blog post. Checkout her wonderful blog at: