Essay Example on Doctors Ethics: Put Patients First, Not Profits

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1893 Words
Date:  2023-01-12


Doctors should focus on delivering their services to patients. Across the globe, it has been observed that psychiatric in collaboration with pharmaceutical firms are prescribing drugs with the intention of fostering financial gain. Poor patients who cannot afford the raised prices have faced challenges and die miserably. Communication between medical representatives and doctors is in jeopardy because of unethical acts. The conflict has often emerged in patients' interest and drug promotion (Hawkes, 2017). This paper explores various theories to foster medical ethics in order to curb ethical conduct of withholding cancer treatment based on poverty. This paper expounds more on theories such as egoism, conventional morality, utilitarianism, duty ethics, and virtue ethics. This paper also expounds more on the VCR core such as values and virtues, consequences and contingencies, and responsibilities and rights.

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In philosophy, egoism refers to a theory that a person is and should be motivated towards their own action goals. Ideally, a person may act for various reasons. The question has always been raised based on what, whom, and whether they should act for themselves. Egoism basically has normative and descriptive variants. In a descriptive variant, egoism is viewed as human affair factual description. Thus, it implies that people would act based on their own interests and desires making them indescribable. On the other extreme, the normative variant has it that a person should be motivated irrespective of the present behavior motives (May, 2011). More importantly, people are motivated to act based on their free will. A proponent argues that people choices are based on the prior events making an illusion of every belief they make in their choice. In case a prerequisite in a choice is given against the nature of great casual impetus such as God, then it implies that such people own some control over the following action they commit.

At this state, a person may make inquiry based on the purpose of what a person does and the decision of choosing a self-oriented action or others. In a moral sense, a person can inquire whether a person can act on their own interest as well as an option to reject self-interest in pursuit of others. Owing to this explanation and concepts of egoism, ethical doctors should first pursue a self-reflection of themselves. This also works in tandem with the American Society for Public Administration Code of ethics (Moore, 2017). Based on this code, doctors ought to evaluate themselves based on the code whether their interest is based on keeping honesty and truthfulness without compromising on advancement or personal gain. Self-reflection is vital in lowering the rate of self-generated subjectivity and promote validity. On the other side, the organization should enact laws that also ensure that the public interest is not altered in pursuit of the self-interest.

Doctors in promoting their own good to the patients should be the relation to morality. For example, a poor cancer patient should be treated irrespective of the doctor interest of demanding after service payment. Such that everyone employed in the health sector should sacrifice their self-interest in order to save the lives of poor patients suffering from cancer. Basically, it is moral to promote the patient own good by subjecting the doctors to embrace personal integrity such that their interest is in line with the organizational ethics (May, 2011). Thus, when personal interest is not supported by the organization ethics, doctors would reject their own interest to pursue the organization goals. The treatment made by the doctor should comply with the organization code of ethics. Therefore, the doctors' compassion towards cancer patients cannot be entertained if it does not comply with the organization ethics code. Thus, the organization should also embrace integrity for workers to have a shared responsibility that shall make them have a sound moral character. Indeed, if everyone was an angel, then there shall be no sense of having an organization and a government

Conventional Morality

Conventional morality is a stage that understands the basic principles and importance of others based on agency, fairness, and respect. In this theory, the emphasis is on the decision made based on good principle. Notably, people have in-depth knowledge that they are part of society that observes beliefs, norms, and values that dictate every moral behavior. Conventional morality conforms to social expectations and social norms (Heath, 2017). Based on these arguments, irrespective of the patients social status in the society such as poor patients who are likely to experience side effects based on the purported bills of treating cancer, the most vital thing to be incorporated by the doctors is to acquire ethical governance. In spite of the bill, the doctor should fair and just to the patients to achieve a high ethical standard. Additionally, the government ought to redefine their responsibilities and roles in providing public health services not only at better prices but also offering fair cost.

In such a situation, both psychiatrist and the organization should understand the agency and the need of the patients suffering from cancer irrespective of the financial status of the patient. Although, the theory is curtailed by the conflict of interest on whether to serve the patient or to get to clear the bill. In such a situation, the doctor should ignore finance, even if the organization might suffer from their decision of having financial impacts (Hawkes, 2017). This decision is based on the good principle of helping the life of a poor patient.


Utilitarianism refers to a philosophical point of view on how people should evaluate a broader range of option that entails the choices that people might face in their daily lives. Evaluation is based on moral codes, character traits, policies, laws, and actions. Basically, the theory is a form of consequentialism since it bases its idea on laws, policies, and actions repercussions. In evaluation mode, the choice depends on whatever is deemed best for practice. Jeremy in his hedonism argument suggests that what is deemed good is happiness. According to hedonists' thinkers, they agree that various kind of things is deemed well regardless of freedom, friends, and food among others (Hawkes, 2017). In spite of these, the hedonist views them as instrumental good that is valuable due to the causal role they play in producing happiness. Happiness is intrinsic good suggesting that in themselves they are good and this does not necessarily imply that they can produce valuable things.

Contrary, lack of friend, freedom, and food is instrumentally a worse experience since it exacerbates unhappiness, suffering, and pain. However, displeasure, suffering, and pain are considered as intrinsically bad. This badness is grounded on themselves but not necessarily because they are likely to produce further bad experiences. The advantage of using utilitarianism approach is because of clarity on how moral questions can objectively be answered. Most of the people believe that morality is subjective and often rely on the sincere beliefs and interest of people (Hawkes, 2017). By embracing an act utilitarianism, the decision made by people would be based on the foreseeable and actual repercussion of the options in question. Once a person can predict the good results produced by different possible action, then a person can be able to know what to perceive as bad or right. In utilitarianism, the measure of the well-being of the patients whether from the wealthy family or poor family is critically crucial.

For instance, if two patients are suffering from cancer are all poor, in utilitarianism, the treatment should not be withheld but instead, be given to the patient in extreme pain. Although, it seems absolutely very ethical for an organization to withhold cancer treatment to the patient from a poor background who cannot clear the hospital bills as a nation may spend a lot on the cancer drugs. Ideally, it is morally upright to save the lives of the poor patients in extreme pain instead of prioritizing on the patients with the potential to purchase the drug. In a country, for example, a difficult conflict of interest demands appearance (Moore, 2017). The appearance of wrongdoing is so common in the contemporary world. Commonly in a situation where a wrong answer is given to moral questions. For instance, if the doctor withholds medications to poor cancer patient in pursuits of saving billions of people, then it is good enough for the doctors to weigh that option and apply it. However, if the patients are denied medication in suiting the employees or the employer's salaries then it ought to be ethical and appear real in the eye of the public.

Duty Ethics

The theory is based on consequentialist point of view of the moral decision-making process and people. Duty ethics asserts that actions are not judged by their repercussions. However, factors instead of the results that determine whether the action is right. Contrary to utilitarianism where the ends portray the means while duty ethics, the means are the most crucial thing. Duty ethics is based on the "Categorical Imperative" term developed by Kant. The term suggests that a person should act as if the maximum of their actions were to be their will as a universal law of nature. Besides, it borrows similarity to Judaism ("Nietzschean Virtue Ethics," 2015). The theory rejects every moral theory dealing with higher absolute truth and God. The theory is cultural morality that transcends and tend to connect the realities of people in the culture. According to the naturalist, God is not necessarily involved in determining what is good or bad, but rather duty ethic is quite unreasonably as believing in the divine power.

For instance, if the doctor says yes to restraining treatment to the cancer patients suffering coming from the poor background, then it shall be considered moral. Also, if the doctors yes to issuing of drugs to the poor patient suffering from cancer, the public shall also deem it as moral. However, the doctor can also say no so that the drug is withheld from a poor patient suffering from cancer, in such as a situation the behavior is viewed as immoral (Moore, 2017). Thus, the rightness of an action depends on the willingness of allowing everybody to adopt the action so that whatever is deemed as a "yes" action is considered as moral and a "no" as immoral. The concept is embraced in this theory because of people's internal responses as a clear revelation as compared to the outward appearances and profession.

Additionally, for a doctor to have moral decision-making processes boosted by the internal response, there is an urgency of conducting ethics training. This shall help the doctors to prevent any unethical behaviors of making a "yes" decision in places where it should not necessarily be made coupled with minimizing mistakes of treating both the patient and the organization. The essence of training of doctors is to make sure that they are less likely exposed to committing unethical art in their decision based on ignorance ("Nietzschean Virtue Ethics," 2015). Training as an integrity model, strive to give the doctor a better decision tool to sort unethical dilemmas. For instance, a doctor caught up in a situation of either to withhold medication to a cancer patient due to poverty, may be motivated by the aspiration of getting a high ethical standard.

Virtue ethics

Virtue ethics dwell majorly on the role of a character in moral philosophy instead of an act that creates good repercussion. The virtue ethics believed in Aristotle take in moral philos...

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