“One of the goals of Toma Advanced Biomedical Essays Institute is to make the communication on diagnostics always effective and culturally correct, with an understandable and accessible language, so that patients can be fully aware and responsible for their choices in the field of health.”
Bioethics is an issue that is mainly addressed to new generations.
Students in their Third Year of University Diploma courses have to gain knowledge on juridical and deontological aspects in order to apply this knowledge to real cases (applied bioethics).
It is about learning theoretical and applied notions in an area that goes from law to economic politics and to forensic pathology, from deontology to, generally speaking, social science. It means getting prepared to the active, aware and responsible role that the medical, like non medical, profession deals with in a medical team.
The contents of this discipline can be described as elements of health law and of forensic pathology, law and National Health System, applied bioethics.
Historical reference underlining the importance of this issue can go back to the hippocratic oath and to Florence Nightingale oath.
There are already various works that are focusing on this issue, like the Code of Conduct for Nurses (1977) the Obstetrician Code of Ethics (1977), the Canadian Nurses Code of Ethics (1985) and the
Italian Code of Medical Ethics (1995).
At E.U. level we can mention the recommendation of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on the rights of patients and dying patients or the Strasbourg Convention.
Bioethics (from Ancient Greek “ethos”, behaviour, custom, habit and “bios”, life) is a discipline that deal with moral issues connected to biology and medicine.
Other disciplines are involved in bioethics like Philosophy, Medicine, Biology, Genetics, Law so as issues connected with different moral and religious visions and with the exercise of political power on the body of the citizens (biopolitics).
ETHICS is that branch of philosophy that studies the objective and rational foundations that permit to distinguish between good, right or morally licit human behaviours and those considered bad or morally inappropriate.
MORALITY a principle according to which a man acts; a behaviour, a guideline, some kind of an intrinsic value in a man or in a community.
THEORY OF PRINCIPLES
AUTONOMY – it says that the patient is free and defends him from medical paternalisms of any kind that could impose choices without the patient or the legal guardian’s agreement. The principle underlines the ethical necessity of the other person respect.
NON MALEFICENCE – The primum non nocere principle must be at the basis of medical practice. It is even more important then the principle of do good. It tries to limit the principle of autonomy of the doctor. Its goal is looking at the wealth of the patient.
BENEFICENCE – it says that the doctor must always look for the good of the patient, this is why the patient goes to him. Beneficence must be at the basis of the treatment contract with the patient. The reference to beneficence permits to try and go past the conflict between the doctor and the patient rights. It puts at the core of the profession the good that it has as a specific subject: the health of the patient. Based on this principle the doctor is not obliged to give the patient, in is autonomy, everything he asks for, but only what the doctor, with his professional experience, considers good for the patient’s health. Therefore the principles is also at the basis of the profession itself.
JUSTICE – Justice is guaranteeing to everyone is own right, following the juridical moral definition. In the medical field it means that every patient has the right to have the most appropriate treatment without gender, racial, religious, or other diversities of any kind among patients, discrimination. The only acceptable distinction is the one determined by the specific pathology of the single patient.
THE FIELDS OF BIOETHICS – The relationship between the man and his physicality: all the ethical problems that involve love and family (contraception, sexuality, abortion, sterilization, in vitro fertilisation, etc…)
News from Comitato Scientifico del Centro di Etica Generale e Applicata (CEGA)