Ethics is the set of moral principles that guide a person’s actions and behaviour. Medical ethics is that branch of ethics which scrutinizes clinical medicine practice and research. It is a set of guidelines which, a practitioner in cross roads may refer. It is often the deciding authority in most life and death cases. Another crucial concept in the medical arena is ‘patient trust’, which is in some way, a by-product of the standard of medical ethics. In this article, we shall take a look at what medical ethics is, why it is important, and the changing dynamics of medical ethics as a result of modernisation. The technological and scientific advancements in the current century have been a boon to millions of people. But, the medical professionals are faced with a new set of challenges and difficulties. The physicians increasingly feel the need to match the advancements with the moral dimensions. So often, they are faced with ethical and moral dilemmas. To add to this, ethical standards are very dynamic in nature. What was considered as ethical yesterday may not be so today, and what is unethical today might turn into an ethical practice tomorrow.
Authored by Gopalakrishnan R R, Sastra Deemed University