URL of this page: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/medicalethics.html

Medical Ethics

On this page

See, Play and Learn

  • No links available

Research

For You

Summary

The field of ethics studies principles of right and wrong. There is hardly an area in medicine that doesn't have an ethical aspect. For example, there are ethical issues relating to

  • End of life care: Should a patient receive nutrition? What about advance directives and resuscitation orders?
  • Abortion: When does life begin? Is it ethical to terminate a pregnancy with a birth defect?
  • Genetic and prenatal testing: What happens if you are a carrier of a defect? What if testing shows that your unborn baby has a defect?
  • Birth control: Should it be available to minors?
  • Is it ethical to harvest embryonic stem cells to treat diseases?
  • Organ donation: Must a relative donate an organ to a sick relative?
  • Your personal health information: who has access to your records?
  • Patient rights: Do you have the right to refuse treatment?
  • When you talk with your doctor, is it ethical for her to withhold information from you or your family?

Start Here

Related Issues

Specific Conditions

Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

Finance and Policy

Seniors