The Integral Role of Bioethics and Malpractice in Medicine
On a typical hot afternoon, a 20 year old male was received in a tertiary care hospital with shortness of breath and unconsciousness. A couple of minutes later, the patient was shifted to intensive care but unfortunately the patient died. Patient’s attendants were looking depressed since they were confident about the possibility of his full recovery . When the patient died, the hospital staff went to the attendants and consoled them in a positive way that their patient was fine .
They also enforced them to purchase the required expensive medicine which was of no use now, just to take advantage of their situation.It is well said,”Ethical issues arise when not all values can be respected. The values in conflict must then be prioritized and the essence of ‘doing ethics’ is to justify breaching the values that are not respected.” (Margaret Somerville, November 2008)
Bioethics means the simplest form of heath care ethics and a combination of moral and social principles.It is also the belief that guides us in forming values about care in the medical field. it is the sense of right and wrong. Ethical principles make the system of moral values in health care that encompasses its practical application in clinical settings.
In other words heath care ethics is a thoughtful exploration to every student of how to react and act well and make morally good choices based on beliefs and the importance of life, suffering, health and death.Medical malpractice or medical/professional negligence is an act or omission by a health care provider in which care provided deviated from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
Clinical negligence is an expression which can be applied to the illegal behavior of a medical doctor or consultant. Medical education has been an evolving field. Pakistan medical education is at cross roads while the medical curriculum is just one of its many crucial ones. Meanwhile it is the people of our country who suffer as cases of neglect and negligence rise and government inaction continues.
I am a student of first year in Nursing and I totally agree with the PMDC syllabus infrastructure which covers all subjects that need to be taught to an undergraduate medical student but all the medical colleges should raise the bar with the student approach especially a community based approach.We should more keen on integrating learning and teaching related to problem based and adding ethics into the curriculum as opposed to the community based service.
We should also improve clinical competence of all trainee residents during learning program by using various educational interventions within a residency program.  High schools should provide necessary information for such kind of work to our generation. But unfortunately most of the schools, colleges and universities do not involve their students. Helping others without any reward imposes a good impression in academic as well as in practical life.
Especially Medical and Nursing students should be the part of such work. This improves their employability and creativity to any kind of work. In this way, our educational system realizes that it is important to produce doctors who have skills and abilities to promote community service and public health.
According to a WHO report, teaching of medical practitioners or students for both basic and clinical sciences should be in a parallel manner as it plays a dynamic role in emerging community oriented medical education. Pakistan press has been raising the inadequate practices and faults of the educational system, but all goes in vain. Due to this, medical student leave the university with vast chunks of information and encyclopedia only in terms of bookish form but lack of problem base learning and community ethical skills.
So clinical and ethical guidelines are concrete tool for feedback and it act as a bridge for pattern making with increasing practice and confidence for the student to understand the basic required links. .Also in order to be competent in the educational system, we should use the clinical tools and economic resources in a rationale manner.
In a nutshell, ethics should be the basic and compulsory part of all medical and nursing college syllabi. For this purpose, every educational institute has to make the separate department of Bioethics and Humanities in order to provide all the required academic education with professional training so that every student will be able to perform well in their professional life.
1- Wikipedia. Medical malpractice. (Online) (Cited 2010 July 10). Available from URL: http://www.en.kikipedia.org/…/Medical malpractice.
2- Ezine Articles. Clinical Negligence and Medical Malpractice. (Online) (Cited 2010 July 10). Available from URL:http://ezinarticles.com/?Clinical-Negli.
3- Muhammad Hanif Shiwani,Medical negligence a growing problem of Pakistan available at http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=2837
4- Effectiveness of educational interventions in improving clinical competence of residents in an internal medicine residency program in Pakistan.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=educational+interventions+motiwala.
5- Problems of Medical Education in Pakistanhttp://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=4261
6- Medical education needs to be change at http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=2934.
About the Author: Muhammad Abdul Wadood is a first year student of nursing at the Agha Khan University Hospital.He can be reached at [email protected]
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