Medical ethics as the science of normative perspective in health care and its role to address ethical vulnerability
Literature reports on the ethical challenges health care practitioners are experiencing due to their working environment, personal circumstances and a growing need to deal with challenges pertaining to the care of war veterans, geriatric patients, abused children and women. These challenges contribute greatly towards the ethical vulnerability of health care practitioners. In order to assist health care practitioners to understand these challenges, a discussion is offered on medical ethics as the science of normative perspective in health care. It is proposed that ethics should be understood from a four quadrant perspective. In addition it is argued that ethics as growth and compromise in ethical dilemmas can contribute to a comprehensive understanding of ethics as normative perspective. This paper promotes the idea that in view of the four quadrant perspective health care practitioners, as with the priesthood, have a calling too. As such calling in this study is not reserved exclusively for the priesthood, but for all kinds of workers. Health care practitioners’ calling is profiled by service, community, mercy and justice. The aims and objective of this paper are (i) to extend the scope of medical ethics to include the ethical vulnerability of health care practitioners, (ii) to propose an interpretation model for medical ethics that can assist health care practitioners to identify and understand some of the ethical challenges and (iii) to pass ethical judgment on these challenges.
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