ethical decision making

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CHAPTER 11 Ethics and Health Pat Kurtz and Ronald L. Burr Authors Go Here Authors Go Here Authors Go Here Visit http://nursing.jbpub.com/communityhealth for Visit http://nursing.jbpub.com/communityhealth interactive exercises, review questions, WebLinks for interactive exercises, review questions, and more. Web links, and more. © Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC. NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION. 1786X_CH11_248_269.pdf 248 12/30/08 10:30:24 AM REFLECTIONS It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. —Albert Einstein A state legislature allotted its state health department $750,000 to match Ryan White federal funding for medication sufficient to treat 20 patients with…show more content…
Bioethics is the common name for the study of ethics as it relates to health and the moral problems that arise as a result of advances in health technologies and our increasing ability to do more to treat illness and prolong life. The theories resulting from ethical study provide a guide to examining ethical situations and to articulating preferred ways of living and behaving as health care practitioners. We must, however, remain aware that differences of opinion exist among those well versed in bioethics regarding which theories best fit which cases, as well as what kind of role character development plays in preparation for acting ethically in the community. As our understanding of the universe, the nature of human behavior, and societal relationships has increased or changed, theories about ethical behavior have been modified and new theories developed. One essential difference in the various approaches to ethical decision making has to do with the target of the action. For whom or for what are we interested in doing the right thing—ourselves, a co-worker, an individual patient, a family, an organization, a community, a nation, or the world? Unfortunately, what may seem to be the right thing to do for one person or group may not be the right thing for another. A situation characterized by conflicting rights or obligations is known as an ethical dilemma. Because of the
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