Key Difference – Bioethics vs Medical Ethics
Ethics is a branch of philosophy which concerns the norms and values, rights and wrongs. Basically, it tells what should or what should not be performed. It is an essential part of human clinical research and medicine in disciplinary and practically. There are systems of moral principles defined for biomedical science and medicine. They are named as bioethics and medical ethics, respectively. Bioethics is concerned with ethical issues of biomedical scientific technologies. Medical ethics is an area of ethics concerned with the practice of clinical medicine and scientific research. The key difference between bioethics and medical ethics is that bioethics generally is concerned the moral principles of all biomedical technologies, such as cloning, stem cell therapy, xenotransplantation and the use of animal models in research while medical ethics is more specific and focused on the medical treatment of humans. Both bioethics and medical ethics ensure that people, regardless of race, gender, or religion, to get guaranteed quality treatments and their rights are protected during the research participation.
What are Bioethics?
Bioethics is an area of philosophy which concerns ethical issues in applied and practical biomedical scientific technologies. It is a new field developed as a result of ethical issues that arose from new medical technologies and legal cases. Bioethics follows the four basic principles of health care when evaluating the merits and difficulties of medical procedures. They are autonomy, justice, maleficence, and non-maleficence. All these four principles should be respected in bioethics.
The scope of bioethics expands to areas of biotechnology including cloning, gene therapy, human genetic engineering, manipulation of basic biology through altered DNA, etc. Bioethics also critically addresses human experimentations during the biomedical research.
What are Medical Ethics?
Bioethics and medical ethics are closely related to each other since both are concerned with humans. Medical ethics is the moral principles which concern the practice of medicine. In other words, medical ethics is the area focused on the moral conduct and principles that govern members of the medical profession. Regardless of gender, religion or race, medical ethics ensures guaranteed quality and principled care for people. Medical ethics applies not only to doctors and patients; it also applies to other health and social care professionals, philosophers, lawyers, policy makers, etc. There are certain principles of medical ethics. They are as follows;
- Principle of respect for autonomy – This principle is set for the practice of “informed consent” in the physician/patient connection or transaction regarding health care.
- Principle of nonmaleficence – The principle of nonmaleficence describes ethics related not to cause harm or injury to the patient intentionally.
- Principle of beneficence – The idea behind of this principle is that health care providers have a duty to be concerned about the benefit to the patient, and also to take positive steps to remove the harm from the patient.
- Principle of justice – It implies the fairness of the health care to patients regardless of their gender, race or religion. All are equally qualified for the equal treatments.
Due to medical ethics, a patient is given an opportunity to make an informed choice about his health care before implementing the medical care plan. Patients with similar needs will be treated with fairness and they will have the equal right to scarce medical resources such as solid organs, bone marrow, expensive diagnostics, medications, etc.
What is the difference between Bioethics and Medical Ethics?
Bioethics vs Medical Ethics
|Bioethics explains the moral principles of all biomedical science areas including biotechnology, medicine, politics, law, philosophy etc.||Medical ethics specifically explains the moral principles related to clinical medicine.|
|Bioethics is a broader study which touches the philosophy of science and biotechnology as well.||Medical ethics is a narrow area that is concerned only with human medicine.|
Summary – Bioethics vs Medical Ethics
Bioethics refers to the ethics of medical and biological research. Medical ethics concerns the ethics of clinical medicine. This is the difference between bioethics and medical ethics. Medical ethics is a branch of bioethics since it mainly focuses on ethics of medicine. Bioethics is multidisciplinary since it blends philosophy, law, history with medicine, heath care and nursing.
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3. Guraya, Salman, N. M. London, and S. S. Guraya. “Ethics in medical research.” Ethics in medical research. N.p., Sept. 2014. Web. 02 May 201
1. “Oncology doctor consults with patient” By Bill Branson (Photographer) – This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia