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Medical Ethics

Essay by   •  September 21, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,083 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,770 Views

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Medical Ethics

Introduction

Medical ethics is a very controversy topic. Many issues are illegal. Such topics are abortion, cloning, genetics, transplants, and euthanasia. Most of these topics are moral issues.

In this paper, you will read about some of the controversies. Also, you will read about the history and how medical ethics has started. You will learn about the controversies and how they deal with medical, moral, social, political, religious, legal, and financial. The reader will come out with a general understanding of bioethics and the knowledge that there are no easy answers. And that most medical ethic issues deal with life and death.

The study of moral issues in the field of medical researches and treatments is medical ethics. Medical ethics, which is sometimes called bioethics, is generally used to describe the ethical issue in life science. Today, there are many professions that deal with medical ethics: medicine, nursing, law, sociology, philosophy, and theology (McGee, 1). Some medical ethic issues of today are cloning, abortions, reproduction, transplants, genetic diseases, and others.

History

Medical ethics started in 1846 by the founders of American Medical Association. This association first started with the professional codes of ethics by English physician Thomas Percival. The earliest code of ethics is the ancient Greek Hippocratic Oath, which required all physicians all to "do no harm" (McGee, 1). Then during World War II, another code was established due to the response of abuses in human experimentation performed in Nazi Germany called the Nuremberg Code.

In 1966, a physician, Henry Beecher, published a paper reporting a variety of abuse on human subjects. The abuse that was done was use of the subject without consent and the participation in medical research of subjects who have not been offered the option of standard treatment. This paper triggered discussions and debates inside and outside medicine. Concerns were furthered heightened by a research project called the Tuskegee Study. These studies were sponsored by United States Public Health Services, which started in 1932 and was ended in 1972 by Congress. Congress withheld both diagnostic information and effective treatment from black men who enrolled in the study in order to retain their ongoing participation (McGee 2).

Cloning

A group of genetically identical cells is called cloning. There are many reasons of cloning. Cloning happens in the cell, which contain genetic material; some are found in bacteria and yeasts. Cloning enables scientists to make many identical copies of the genes by combining an animal or plant gene with bacterial or yeast plasma. Another term for cloning also refers to a group of organisms that are genetically alike. A process in which an organism develops from only one parent is a result of cloning called asexual reproduction (www.worldbook.com 1).

In the mid-1900's scientists started cloning, at first they experimented with invertebrates (animal without backbone) such as earthworms and starfishes because scientists knew they could divide them in half and they would grow and become two instead of one. It was more difficult with vertebrates. In 1952, Robert Briggs and Thomas King developed a cloning method called nuclear transplantation. This method was used on frog embryos, and they were able to produce several tadpoles (www.worldbook.com).

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