Bioethics in the World

Bioethics in the World

Our modern world with its increasingly complex technology is a victim of a number of increasing moral quandaries and illnesses and a prey to conflicting values. Contemporary medicine has been accused of not living up to the expectations of the Oaths to which its practitioners have pleaded allegiance and of losing touch with the image of the traditional physician. We now speak of the sins of contemporary medicine and physician and philosopher Edmund Pellegrino gave a list of the “sins” of modern medicine which included “overspecialization; technicism; overprofessionalization; insensitivity to personal and sociocultural values; too narrow a construal of the doctor’s role; too much ‘curing’ rather than ‘caring’; not enough behavioral science, too much economic incentive; a ‘trade school mentality’; insensitivity to the poor and socially disadvantaged; overmedicalization of everyday life; inhumane treatment of medical students; overwork by house staff; deficiencies in verbal and nonverbal communication”. He added that no one list can be actually complete in specifying these sins. Just as technological advances have made a remarkable increase in medical progress, so too did the growth of additional viruses and diseases create a range of illnesses that never existed before. Consequently, as illnesses amplified and education increased, human beings have become more “existentially” conscious of their mortality, more aware of their rights and the need to have their personal values respected. Thus, modern-day medicine could no longer afford to look at the human person from the narrow diagnosis-prognosis perspective only. It needed to factor in the whole person,....

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