Is Medicine A Ethical?

3350 Words Feb 12th, 2015 14 Pages
It has always been hard to teach people to be ethical. It is harder than ever when the system itself is corrupt, when the world is full of injustice, and when there is no longer any agreement about core values, goals or responsibilities.

This is the predicament that confronts medical education. Students enter their medical courses in good faith, albeit for a variety of reasons, coming from a great many backgrounds - Christians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists – and places - from Australia, India, China, Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere. They encounter patients in public hospitals facing complex ethical choices, in intense and difficult circumstances, and find themselves facing expectations somehow to provide assistance.

Medicine is an intense and ceaseless conversation across cultures, religions and ethical perspectives, a conversation that traverses the great questions of life and death, as well as the great divisions in society and culture. It proceeds inexorably, imperfectly, with outcomes that are rarely secure and never satisfactory. The pedagogy is hard, not just because the questions are difficult but because the experience of seeing someone die before your eyes, of helplessness in the face of suffering, of being a witness to the emptiness of the parent, or child, or spouse, or relative, or friend when the terrible reality can no longer be avoided, is hard.

To explain what is at stake it is necessary to reflect briefly on the nature and role of…
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