Ethics in the 21st Century

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Ethics are the accaptable principles and virtues that are needed to conduct a process diligently. According to KD Clouser (1974), medical ethics doesn’t have its own unique methods or principles rather medical ethics is the enterprise of understanding the specialized facts and relationship of the medical world, to apply more precisely the familiar moral rules of everyday life.

Factors that promote medical ethics in the 21st century

According to M. Parker, T. Hope (2000), Social factor promotes medical ethics in the 21st century since the doctors are obliged to be more open to the patients about their condition, the kind of cure available and both the negative and positive effects of each medication. This idea follows the concept of a consumer well informed is free to choose and construct the idea of a well behaved doctor in the light of this model

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According to M. Parker, T Hope (2000) The media is also a key driving force in the medical ethics. Along with the public participation in the filled of medicine, a lot of concerns have been raised about the procedures necessary to ensure high medical standards including high ethics and communication standards. This has brought a lots of awareness of the ethical issues faced by the doctors which the public might reasonably hold views such as: Should widows be allowed to use their dead husband’s sperms in order to have a baby?

Philosophy has also helped in the development of medical ethics through social ideas. According to M. Parker and T. Hopes (2000) even though the implication of the principles of patient autonomy has been a response to increasing consumerism, it has helped to determine how consumer model is adapted to the relationship between patients and health professionals.

Technology sciences and diseases. The question on whether or not should elderly women be assisted in becoming pregnant has been raised more often than not. According to the medical ethics this is a positive contribution towards the medical development but according to the general public it’s bizarre action

Goal of medical ethics education in the 21st century

According to a journal written by Eckles, Rachael; Meslin, Eric M PhD; Gaffney, Magret MD; Helft, Paul R. MD IN (2005) The literature suggests there are two points of view that exist the skills of analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas commonly known as virtue or skill dichotomy and the teaching of ethics is a means of creating virtuous physicians

Creating virtuous physicians

There are three articles that argues that the goal of medical ethics education is to create virtuous physicians Freeman (1994) argues that physicians include the basic core traits of character such as honesty integrity and dedication and that medical ethics should foster virtuous physicians who possess such traits

In the second argument, Pellegrino ED and Thomasma DC (1993) the merits of both sides of the skill dichotomy even though they argue that the ultimate goal of medical ethics educations is to create virtuous physicians.

The third argument is somehow similar to the first except that Shelton (1999) argues that “A good doctor” possess virtues such as “respect, compassion, honesty and characteristics fundamental to any morality and that all medical caregivers are expected to fully embrace.

Teaching skills

According to Miles et al the following are some of reasonable goals of teaching ethics to acquire skills

  • To enable physicians to examine and affirm their own personal and professional moral commitments.
  • To teach physicians to recognize the humanistic and ethical aspects of medical careers.

The goals are realistic and flexible thus the objective that is to gain skills will be archived in due time.

On the other hand, Glick’s proposal differs in that an ethical proposal should do more than; “provide intellectual tools and interactive skills to deal with ethical problems”. He argues that more character in medical school is built upon the arrival in the school.


In conclusion, medical ethics have greatly improved through-out the past century and will continue to do so as long as there is will. As they say, where there is a will there is a way


  1. Eckles, R., PhD, M. E., Gaffney, M. M., & Helf, P. R. (2005). Academic Medicine. Chicago: MacMillan.
  2. ED, P. (1993). The metamorphosis of medicine . Rome : JAMA.
  3. Freman JW, W. A. (1994). Virtue and longitudinal ethics education in medical school. New York: SDJ med.
  4. M.Parker, T. (2000). Medical ethics in the 21st century. Washington: J intern.
  5. Pellegrino ED, T. (1993). The virtues of medical practice. New York: Oxford university press.
  6. SM., G. (1994). The teaching of medical ethics to medical students. New York: J.Med .
  7. W, S. (1999). Can virtue be taught? Atlanta: Acad Mad.
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Ethics in the 21st Century. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
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