How Did Bioethics Start?

Bioethics is a normative ethical theory which has greatly affected the medical field in the past years. It is currently applied to in the formulation of state laws, governmental regulations and different types of academic and scholarly articles used by different departments and committees.

Bioethics and Medical Ethics
The field of bioethics and medical ethics are so closely related with one another these two are commonly used interchangeably. Although it is wrong to interchange these two, there are sufficient grounds for understanding this typical misconception based on the early foot steps made by these two fields of inquiry.

Bioethics began soon after World War II after the world witnessed the gruesome result of the Nazi experimentation on Jews, especially the twins. According to the committee which investigated the Nazi experiments, they only had one world to describe it – inhuman. Thus, bioethics has been linked to human experimentation.

Medical ethics may have been older than bioethics because it has started during the time of Hippocrates and the ancient Greeks. The Hippocratic Oath has long been used in the medical profession prior to the arrival of modern medical technology and has been the general principle practiced by medical practitioners.

Apparently, since both medical ethics and bioethics are related to man and its well being, there are several individuals who thought that they mean the same thing.

The Nuremberg Code
The misuse of humans as subjects for medical experimentation has been the major controversy and dispute behind the trials of the Nazi scientists. After a long debate, the world witnessed the birth of Bioethics wherein nations from all over the world, particularly Europe and the U.S., agreed that voluntary consent is vital in the treatment of any disease. Every person has the right to say no or say yes in relation to a particular treatment. No one can force him or her to proceed with any operation. Any medical treatment should be done under the patient volition unless he or she is not mentally capable of deciding for himself.

The Advent of Medical Technology
The fast development of technology has made man’s life easier and longer. Nevertheless, the issue which befalls the field of medicine now is the use of these medical devices in prolonging the life of an individual. Up to what extent do the relatives of a patient who has the responsibility of providing mechanical support? If there is a patient is in a state of coma for several years now with no health insurance coverage, does this give them the right to pull the plug of the machine so as to end the suffering of the patient and the financial crisis the family is experiencing because of this ailment? Until when do health insurance providers have duties and responsibilities to provide the medical needs of their member?

All of these are the recent questions which have flooded the world, especially the field of health insurance. Some insurance companies have provided solutions to these inquiries while some of the questions still remain unanswered.