Ethics, Professional Ethics and Health Care Ethics

"Ethics, Professional Ethics, and Health Care Ethics"

"Ethics, Professional Ethics, and Health Care Ethics" is primarily concerned with health care ethics. It focuses on applied ethics in several health care domains, particularly health care consumer ethics, because it emphasizes that the patient has an obligation to make key ethical decisions. The chapter defines ethics as the area of philosophy that aims to determine how human activities are regarded to be moral or wrong (Baillie, McGeehan, & Garrett, 2012). When applying ethics to a specific professional field, the chapter discusses the nature of the profession, the basic ethical perspective, and the environment in which the profession functions. Further, in an attempt to overcome the challenge of developing a social ethic consensus about the various healthcare issues, it distinguishes ethics from law, moral theology or religious ethics, and from sociology.

Key Ethical Principles and Concepts

The chapter breaks down the topic on ethics to various subcategories: emotions and the ethical life, human nature and ethics, theories of ethics, key issues, applied ethics, the profession and professional ethics and the healthcare profession. Emotions are essential since they color the perception of the world of human beings and inform the judgment of all actions in that world (Baillie et al., 2012). Further, despite the fact that emotions cannot be most reliable, or sole, they are a crucial element of ethical actions and deliberations. In healthcare ethics, the human nature is the true subject matter of ethics, its limits as well as its core. All fundamental questions that are raised in health care basically require meditation on human nature. Theories of ethics or ethical theories aim at explaining the characteristics of human activity. They state methods of evaluating actions that are not reducible to one another (Baillie et al., 2012). Theories discussed include the Kantian deontologist, consequentialism, virtue ethics and natural law.

The Key Issues

The key issues discussed include dignity of the individual, which is an imperative issue to consider in abortions, health care distribution, death, and rationing of organs and the role of society where the role of society is to ensure people meet the full requirements of wisdom. In addition, society and moral and legal rights are discussed where legal rights is taken as that granted by American law while moral right is taken as that which is demanded by dignity of the individual in a certain community (Baillie et al., 2012). Applied ethics implies that in the application of principles of ethics to a situation; more than just principles is required. Professional ethics are those that relate to the code of conduct of the profession or are articulated by the members of that profession (Baillie et al., 2012). In the health care profession, there are various professionals each with specific duties and roles. In this field, the definition of roles is crucial in enhancing and ensuring professional ethics.


Baillie, H. M., McGeehan, J. M., & Garrett, R. M. (2012). Health Care Ethics. Pearson Higher Ed.

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