A Case Study Depicting the Importance of Ethics in Medicine Essay

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To protect the individual’s right and confidentiality, the client involved would be referred to as ‘Marge’.

Introduction

‘Work for health requires moral commitment’ (Seedhouse, 2009 p. xiviii). Therefore, the obligation rests on healthcare professionals faced with ethical dilemma in their practice to make moral decision which should promote and enhance health ( Rumbold, 1999; Sim, 1997). Ethics is concerned with the basis on which an action is determined as either right or wrong (Rumbold, 1999; MacIntyre, 2005).

Therefore, ethics is the study of morality which is also known as moral philosophy (Sim, 1997; Thompson et al, 2006). When one moral principle conflicts with another, it is referred to as a moral or ethical dilemma
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However, it does not prescribe the moral course of action between the options in the case (Seedhouse, 2009). Values of clients, the client-professional relationship and boundaries are some of issues that crop up during the debate on the course of action to take. In the end, the team has to make a decision about the most ethical course of action.

The College of Occupational Therapists Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, section 1.1, states that, the purpose of the code is to provide ‘…values and principles used in promoting and maintaining high standards of professional behaviour’ (College of Occupational Therapist [COT], 2005). Hence, the code was framed based on some sets of assumptions and many of the terms are inadequately defined (Sim, 1997). In addition, its language is in general term; as a result, the code does not give specific guidance (Sim, 1997; Seedhouse, 2009). According to Preston, (2009) the Hippocratic Oath from 400BC explains the fundamental of medical practice and embody the essential ethical principles. These ethical principles of Nonmaleficence, Beneficence, Autonomy, Veracity, Justice, and Confidentiality derived from the Hippocratic Oath form the core value of health and social care ethical code of ethics (Preston, 2009). In practice, the Occupational Therapist uses the College of Occupational

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