The field of ethics studies principles of right and wrong. There is hardly an area in medicine that doesn't have an ethical aspect. For example, there are ethical issues relating to
- End of life care: Should a patient receive nutrition? What about advance directives and resuscitation orders?
- Abortion: When does life begin? Is it ethical to terminate a pregnancy with a birth defect?
- Genetic and prenatal testing: What happens if you are a carrier of a defect? What if testing shows that your unborn baby has a defect?
- Birth control: Should it be available to minors?
- Is it ethical to harvest embryonic stem cells to treat diseases?
- Organ donation: Must a relative donate an organ to a sick relative?
- Your personal health information: who has access to your records?
- Patient rights: Do you have the right to refuse treatment?
- When you talk with your doctor, is it ethical for her to withhold information from you or your family?
- End of Life Care (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)
- Genetic Discrimination (National Human Genome Research Institute)
- Organ Transplantation (Hastings Center)
- Psychiatric Advance Directives: Getting Started (National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives)
- Research Ethics Timeline (1932-Present) (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)
- Use of Opiates to Manage Pain in the Seriously and Terminally Ill Patient (American Hospice Foundation)
- What Is Ethics in Research and Why Is It Important? (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)