Bio-ethics, also known as medical ethics, is the study and employment of moral values in medical science. This includes clinical care and clinical research. Individuals working in the field of medicine are faced daily with moral dilemmas and difficult decision-making such as :when life begins and when life ends the withholding or withdrawal of treatment the allocation of scarce medical resources the accessibility of resources. Ethical issues near the end of life (EOL) often arise because of concerns about how much and what kind of care make sense for someone with a limited life expectancy, particularly if the patient is very old. There is often conflict between physicians or nurses and family members about what constitutes appropriate care. Many of these conflicts can be avoided by clarifying who makes the difficult decisions to limit care and by advance care planning. Physicians have recognized the right of the patient to participate in medical decision making for the last 25 years. The principle of autonomy, or the right to make choices about one's own life, has now become the centerpiece of modern American biomedical ethics. The available data suggest that patients with terminal cancer are more likely to receive end of life care that is consistent with their preferences when they have had the opportunity to discuss their wishes with their physician.
Last date updated on July, 2014