One of the most important steps in becoming a doctor is to take the Hippocratic oath, a promise to “first, do no harm.” As a matter of fact, the first “do no harm” is attributed to “Of the Epidemics” one of Hippocrates’ works, stating, “…the physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future; [the physician] must mediate these findings, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”
What is Medical Ethics?
For the sake of argument let us consider that matters of ethics appear to be innate, and not studied. This presumption is logical, as ethics and “do no wrong” are learned at home, from family, friends, and mentors. However, society and medical boards need to have guidelines to adhere to for justice to be served, and thus, to protect the public.
The subject matter, admittedly, is not the most exciting, and the content may appear basic or obvious. Keep in mind that everyone has a violation potential which can jeopardize his/her medical license. Presenting these cases in clinical settings will enhance a higher level of engagement and learning through reflection.