Topics Medical Ethics Essay

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Ethics: Today's Hot Topics

  • Former Aetna Medical Director Didn't Look at Medical Records A former Aetna CMO said in his deposition that he never looked at patients' medical records in reviewing appeals for coverage. Should there be more transparency when coverage decisions are made?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, February 2018
  • Are You Scared to Show Warmth to a Patient? In light of the #MeToo movement, physicians may be wondering whether it is ever acceptable to hug a patient.
    Medscape Business of Medicine, February 2018
  • Should You Lose Your License if You're Not Computer Savvy? The use of electronic medical records requires that a physician be computer savvy. Can you lose your medical license if you lack computer skills?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, January 2018
  • Should a Terminal Patient Receive Cataract Surgery? Should a terminally ill cancer patient who asks for cataract surgery to improve his quality of life be granted his wish?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, January 2018
  • Was Matt Lauer Too Naive About Patient-Doctor Confidentiality? When someone discusses sensitive matters, such as sex, with a physician or therapist outside of the office and asks for privacy, does patient confidentiality apply?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, January 2018
  • Should You Honor a DNR Tattoo? If an incapacitated patient has a 'do not resuscitate' request tattooed on his or her body, should a physician comply with the request?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, January 2018
  • Should You Tell Elderly Patients to Stop Driving? Should physicians be responsible for telling elderly drivers that they should no longer be driving? What alternatives are there for patients who still want to remain mobile?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, December 2017
  • Will Pig Organs Be Used for Transplants? Immunosuppression and the fear of transmitting diseases that animals have to people have impeded pig organ transplants in humans. Will new scientific advances enable pig organ transplants?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, November 2017
  • Should Medical Schools Eliminate Lectures? The University of Vermont Medical School has eliminated lectures in favor of active learning. Will other medical schools follow?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, November 2017
  • Parental Authority Should Be Overridden for a Sick Child A baby with jaundice recently died as a result of the parents' religious beliefs. Should parental authority be overridden for a sick child?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, November 2017
  • Is It Time to Rethink Funding for Research on Gun Violence? The recent spate of mass shootings, including the horrific one in Las Vegas, has prompted an outcry to address funding for research on gun violence.
    Medscape Business of Medicine, October 2017
  • Should You Recommend Coffee Drinking to Your Patients? Recent studies suggest that coffee drinking may be good for you, but more data replicating these studies are needed. Should you recommend coffee consumption to patients?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, October 2017
  • Should Physicians Educate Patients via Social Media? More patients are going online to get health information and some of the information on the Internet is not scientific. What can physicians do to educate patients via social media?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, September 2017
  • Is It Time to Modernize Medical Organizations? Medical organizations have striven to serve physicians' needs for many decades. How can these organizations stay relevant?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, September 2017
  • Should We Pay Organ Donor Heroes? Altruistic organ donors incur many legitimate costs, such as days lost from work and travel, hotel, and dining expenses, yet they aren't compensated. Should the government pay for their expenses?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, August 2017
  • Is Parental Smoking Child Abuse? When a patient smokes, or takes medications, their children's health may be harmed. What can physicians do to change parents' behavior to eliminate these risks?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, August 2017
  • Are Doctors Ready to Counsel on DTC Genetic Testing? At-home genetic tests are becoming more widely available. But interpreting the tests may be risky. Are doctors prepared to counsel patients on test results?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, August 2017
  • Is an Organ From a Diseased Person Better Than Nothing? With a shortage of organs and waiting lists growing, the idea of transplanting organs from people who have diseases may become reality.
    Medscape Business of Medicine, July 2017
  • Should Doctors Decide When It’s Futile to Keep Charlie Gard Alive? Doctors at a London hospital say it's not right to keep Charlie Gard alive, but his parents fight for care in the United States. Should doctors cross the line and say it's futile to continue care?
    Medscape Business of Medicine, July 2017
  • Did This Doctor Do Wrong by Delaying Bad News to a Patient?  Giving bad news to a patient is never easy. Ethicist Art Caplan discusses whether it is ever right for a physician to postpone giving bad news.
    Medscape Business of Medicine, July 2017
Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, Director, Division of Medical Ethics, New York University Langone Medical Center and School of Medicine, New York, New York

Medical ethics is a highly controversial and sensitive topic. It is highly debatable and prone to go in many ways. If you are writing an evaluation essay on medical ethics and find yourself in need of a topic, consider the 20 below:

  1. Doctors and Physician Assisted Suicide
  2. Nursing Theories: Which Theories Are the Most Ethical
  3. The Ethics of Preventative Medicine
  4. Religious Clashes: How Medical Ethics Confront Religious Beliefs
  5. Cultural Bias and Medical Ethics
  6. The Ethics of Care for the Mentally Handicapped
  7. The Ethics of Pregnancy: When a Doctor Can Have Their Patient Arrested
  8. Ethical Dilemmas for Doctors: When Parents Should Be Arrested for Abuse or Negligence
  9. Office Place Ethics: When Medical Practitioners Fail to Uphold Office Standards
  10. How Medical Ethics Differ in Asian Countries Compared to African Countries
  11. When Medical Ethics Are Non-Existent: What Doctors Must Do in Foreign Countries
  12. The Ethical Difficulties of Practicing Medicine Overseas
  13. Ethical Standards Across the States: What Is Ethical
  14. How to Monitor Ethics in the Medical Field
  15. Why Medical Ethics Are Still Important
  16. How Quality Medical Ethics Classes Are Taught
  17. When It Is Medically Ethical to End a Life
  18. Why Doctors Cannot End Lives of Suffering Individually
  19. The Need for International Ethics in the Medical Field
  20. Are Medical Ethics Same Everywhere?

Aren’t those interesting topics? Below is an example on one of them to help give you a better idea of what to write. Before you check it out don’t forget there we’ve also prepared 10 facts on medical ethics as well as a complete guide on an evaluation essay:

Sample Evaluation Essay: Are Medical Ethics the Same Everywhere?

There are different standards for medical ethics around the world and in some cases cultural clashes can cause a rift. When people move to America they often keep their cultural practices as a part of who they are, and nowhere was this more prevalent than with the Hmong culture. But this also creates a string of ethical dilemmas for medical practitioners in the West who are legally bound to report certain ethical problems like a parent not following the advice of a doctor after signing to do so.

Hmong people often do things in ways unfathomable to Western practitioners because they believe that each condition, its cause, and its potential results, stem from something much different than what western doctors would see. Medicine is seen as a temporary fix among the Hmong, not a permanent thing. This can be an area of ethical concern when a medical condition warrants long term medication such as seizure medication, something parents are not willing to do. In such cases, doctors are legally required to report the parents and have the child taken away even if they know the parents have nothing but the deepest love for their child. Additionally, many Hmong avoid hospitals at all possible costs because they are viewed as charnel houses, where the spirits of dead people linger, not as places of healing like they are viewed by people in the West. This can present additional ethical concerns when people will not seek the medical attention they need or their family needs.

One example of this is childbirth. Hmong women who would otherwise not seek medical care, would go to the hospital for delivery incorrectly thinking that if they delivered at home the babies wouldn’t be allowed to be U.S. citizens. They naturally deliver healthy babies most of the time in spite of not receiving any Western prenatal care, due to their culturally nutritious diets, the low rate of smoking, the low rate of drinking, The babies, as a result, are often the right size for birth. There was a high prevalence of new mothers seeking medical attention in the delivery room during the 1980’s and 1990’s but nowhere else. For having such staunch beliefs against much of Western medicine, the love and desire of mothers to ensure the very best of chances for the child overruled any cultural apprehensions in this regard and resulted in mothers bearing their babies in a place they would otherwise have avoided just to give them the citizenship. This is truly an inspiring perspective if one takes the time to think about it. A great insight into the power of strong cultural values juxtaposed against maternal instincts.

The Hmong taught a lot of lessons to the Western culture, many of which are exposed in comparison to medical ethics for Hmong and for Americans. There is a serious problem with the high prevalence of antibiotic use in people and animals, as well as the advertisements for medications on television which inevitably encourage people to incorrectly believe they have symptoms and need medication. What is particularly bothersome though is the idea that Western medicine is always right even though it often treats only the symptoms individually and not the illness, something which results in people taking medication after medication to then treat subsequent symptoms that are the direct result of the previous medication. The Hmong embodied this concept wholly with their disregard to regular medication and the use of only those medicines which were needed. Another aspect of the culture which struck me was how the Hmong people, even those Christian converts, never gave up on their roots no matter what, always seeking out the traditional medications in tandem with Western medication.

Some Hmong patients will explain what treatment they thought would be best and remained optimistic about a particular condition. Many are adamant about Hmong healing and will not follow directions from Western doctors for medications or transfusions, which can represent child abuse and a serious ethical dilemma for western doctors responsible for reporting such behaviors. It seems that with such different beliefs, the treatment of symptoms by the Western medicine will continually conflict with treatment of the entire condition or cause as Eastern medicine generally seeks to do in practice.

Boylan, Michael. Medical Ethics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print.
Campbell, Alastair V and Alastair V Campbell. Medical Ethics. Auckland, N.Z.: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.
Egendorf, Laura K. Medical Ethics. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2005. Print.
Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1997. Print.
Skloot, Rebecca. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Crown Publishers, 2010. Print.
Torr, James D. Medical Ethics. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2000. Print.
Veatch, Robert M. Medical Ethics. Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 1997. Print.

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