Approaches on how to address religious or spiritual matters, which are of great importance to the existence and well-being of numerous patients, have been facing a lot of uncertainties from the doctors and various healthcare providers. In this context, we will be based on the application of the medical ethical principle of beneficence because it is more concerned with the interests of the patient and do good for the benefit of the patient. Furthermore, the medical ethical principle of beneficence advocates for the development and maintenance of skills and knowledge for the general well-being of patients. (Medical Ethics 101, 2017).
The issue on whether to withhold or withdraw lifesaving action is still far from being solved, given the Terri Schiavo situation, whose life support was withdrawn after a political and legal dispute which lasted for a long time. (Withholding and Withdrawing Life Saving: Moral Dilemmas, Moral Distress, and Moral Residue, 2007). According to Christianity, the beneficence principle of medical ethics, the healthcare providers should ensure that patients are well taken care of, just as the character of the physician as the Good Samaritan who had compassion towards the patient. This shown in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is found in the St Luke’s Gospel. (JesusChristsavior.net, 2017).
According to the American Medical Association, the updated code of medical ethics for modern medicine seeks to improve relevance, improve clarity and consistency by improving structure and formatting to guarantee that foundational ethical ideologies and specific physician responsibilities are easily readable and applicable. The upgrading of the code of medical ethics ensures that values such as humanity, loyalty, confidentiality, and integrity are upheld. (Code of Medical Ethics Modernized for Contemporary Medicine, 2016).
The American Medical Ethics and the beneficence principle of medical ethics have a lot in common because they both advocate for the well-being of the patient by observing humanity and compassion. Dealing with various illnesses and making ethical decisions on treatment options as well as decisions concerning the withdrawal of life support requires the incorporation of religious beliefs and spiritual practices. (Thomas R. McCormick, 2014).
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