medical ethics

the branch of applied ethics relating to moral behaviour in medical practice and clinical research. The historical evidence suggests that healers have always been concerned with ethical questions: evidence of such concern can be seen in the Hippocratic oath and other ancient codes. Some major concerns of medical ethics include the special requirements of the doctor–patient relationship (e.g. confidentiality), the principles used in allocating medical resources, and problems in reconciling the obligation to preserve life with the duty to relieve suffering (see euthanasia). Medical ethics is now generally seen as a subspecialty of bioethics and is taught in most, if not all, medical schools in the UK. In current teaching one highly influential framework is that provided by the so-called four principles of medical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, justice, and nonmaleficence.

The new mediacal dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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