Medical Ethics Problem Solution

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Can Medical Specialists Test New Medicine on Prisoners?

The case study raises one of the most important and unresolved social questions: “Can medical specialists test new medicine on prisoners?” This is one of the most important questions, since it reveals problems in the society, especially those regarding prisoners, and focuses on the idea that people do not take care of the dependent ones.

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In my opinion, medical workers can test new medicine on prisoners.

  • First, doctors help the society with new medicine which can cure many other patients. In some cases, such experiments really can help prisoners to get better.
  • Second, doctors can make breakthroughs in the field of medicine.
  • Third, fatally ill prisoners who will die in any case may be of great assistance to medical specialists in the experimental studies.
  • Besides, prisoners are always ready to participate in such experiments.

Nevertheless, there is a negative aspect to this issue, since by conducting experiments on prisoners doctor deprive them of any autonomy of decisions and their legal rights. By testing new drugs, doctors forget about their Hippocratic Oath and confidentiality.

Classical Hippocratic Oath and Confidentiality

The main issue raised in the chapter is: “Can controversial principles such as autonomy, Classical Hippocratic, confidentiality, paternalism live together in one medical ethics?” I consider that it is possible, and it can be explained by the fact that they are interrelated. Each of these principles proves existence of another one. For example, if a patient is terminally ill, then the principle of autonomy is breached by the doctor, because he or she has to speak to the patients’ relatives. Automatically, confidentiality and principle of Classic Hippocratic are betrayed, since the patient’s illness is not confident anymore and the doctor is not going to help.

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This example demonstrates that if one breaks autonomy, then he/she breaks all the other principles. Consequently, it can be proven that these principles exist when they are interconnected. Another opinion is that they contradict to each other. For example, if a patient consciously refuses any treatment, then the doctor cannot tell anybody about this in order not to breach his or her confidentiality. In such a way, the doctor respects the patient’s wishes and desires. As a result, the doctor cannot help and breach his or her Classic Hippocratic principle. It means that if there is autonomy, there is no other principles in medical ethics.

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