An Ethical Analysis of Professional Codes in Health and Medical Care

Vanessa Littleton, Natthani Meemon, Gerald-Mark Breen, Binyam Seblega, Seung Chun Paek, Michael Loyal, Vanessa Lopez-Littleton

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The purpose of this analysis is to present a contextual discussion of the evolution of healthcare ethics utilizing relevant examples of historical and contemporary ethical issues in the healthcare system. We begin by providing a general overview of the conceptualization of the necessity for ethical considerations in healthcare services. We then examine the evolution of healthcare ethics--including leading philosophers and bioethicists--while offering a critical discussion of some of the most pressing ethical challenges faced by the health professions. Additionally, this analysis includes a timely discussion of the most influential ethical codes guiding the actions of various health professions, including the American Medical Association (AMA), American Society of Public Administrators (ASPA), World Medical Association (WMA), Health Informatics Professionals, and the Hippocratic Oath. In order to demonstrate the link between ethical theory and practice, an in-depth discussion of the values of healthcare professionals--coupled with a detailed ethical decision-making model for healthcare professions--is presented. This discussion and proposed model serve as a practical guide for ethical decision-making in the healthcare context. We conclude our analysis with a comprehensive summary of ethical findings presented throughout this paper, along with recommendations for future ethical considerations.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalEthics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics
StatePublished - 2010


  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Bioethics and Medical Ethics

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