The practice of contemporary medicine has been tremendously influenced by western ideas and it is assumed by many that autonomy is a universal value of human existence. In the World Health Report 2000, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered autonomy a “universal” value of human life against which every health system in the world should be judged. Further in Western bioethics, patient autonomy and self -determination prevails in all sectors of social and personal life, a concept unacceptable to some cultures. In principle, there are challenges to the universal validity of autonomy, individualism and secularism, as most non-Western cultures are proud of their communal relations and spiritualistic ethos and, thereby imposing Western beliefs and practices as aforementioned can have deleterious consequences. Religion lies at the heart of most cultures which influences the practice patterns of medical professionals in both visible and unconscious ways. However, religion is mostly viewed by scientists as mystical and without scientific proof. Herein lies the dilemma, whether medical professionals should respect the cultural and religious beliefs of their patients? In this paper we aim to discuss some of the limitations of patient's autonomy by comparing the process of reasoning in western medical ethics and Islamic medical ethics, in order to examine the possibility and desirability of arriving at a single, unitary and universally acceptable notion of medical ethics. We propose a more flexible viewpoint that accommodates different cultural and religious values in interpreting autonomy and applying it in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural, contemporaneous society in order to provide the highest level of care possible.
In this paper, attempts will be made to study and understand the lawful and unlawful foods in the light of Islamic Medical law focus on ethical aspect that has been practiced during Islamic civilization. We will realize that lawful and unlawful foods are not, as some imagine, mere pretense, but rather constitute the divine command which protects against many diseases. In order to present such a law, the jurists of Islam needed great acuteness and power of reflection to make them understand the matters relating to lawful and unlawful foods in Islam. To attempt to follow these jurists, in their treatment, of the different school of thoughts (madhahib) would take us far beyond the limits of this research. Thus, we will rather confine ourselves to those laws which are clearly stated in the Qur’an and tradition (hadith), as well as a few of the most important issues dealt with in the different school of thoughts (madhahib).
To answer the question posed the terms of reference of local ethical committees as well as a few from overseas were reviewed. It was noted that these committees were established by various professional bodies and functioned independently. Guidelines for ethical practice and conduct were made available to the profession with compliance left to the individual doctor. Amongst the many ethical issues of concern both to the public and the profession was that of self regulation. It is being suggested that these concerns be addressed rather then set up a national body.
The doctrine of informed consent has the effect of allowing the mentally competent adult patient to exercise individual choice in any proposed medical treatment. The ethical principles primarily inherent in this doctrine would be the principles of autonomy and beneficence. However, it is argued in this essay that the concept and meaning of autonomy might be vastly different between western and eastern communities. Consequently the doctrine of informed consent will lead to a different meaning in these different societies. The essay also raises the implication of transplanting legal doctrines into societies which might not be fully prepared to implement the ideal contained in the doctrine of informed consent.
The code of ethics derived from the Hippocratic Oath needs to be supplemented by a formal curriculum in Medical Ethics and Medical Humanities in our Medical schools. The need and justification for it, a review of the medical ethics curricula in American. European. British and Australian Universities, together with an outline of the proposed curriculum is described.
Doctor-patient relationship is a special kind of social. relationship where bonding is planned and carried out with the final objective of helping the patient to achieve the treatment goal. A positive therapeutic relationship encourages active participation of patient in the treatment plan, contributing to success of treatment goals and minimizing malpractice suits. The humanistic approach emphasizes the importance of love, belonging, self esteem, self expression and the final stage of self actualization-the drive to realize one's full potential. In person centered approach to therapeutic relationship, the three most fundamental elements are congruent (genuineness), unconditioned positive regards and empathy. In daily medical consultation, applying these elements can promote greater chance of success in the therapeutic process.