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Ethics Committee - Concepts
 

4 Key Ethical Concepts (that we, as a Committee and NHF,  should want to continue striving towards)

Beneficence
To help others

Non-Maleficence
To do no harm

Autonomy
Allowing others to make their own choice

Justice
Fair decision making
Distribution of good (or bad) things evenly

7 Related Ethical Concepts

  1. Truth Telling
  2. Fiduciary Duty
  3. Conflict of Interest
  4. Relationship Boundaries
  5. Prescribing Authority
  6. Greatest Good 
  7. Transparency


1. TRUTH TELLING

  • Key to respecting autonomy
  • Subjects must know potential benefit vs. potential harm
  • Truth between professional and client/patient
  • Example: You can’t give “fake medicine” to someone and pretend it’s real


2. FIDUCIARY DUTY

  • To act in the best interest of the patient.
  • If a health care professional cannot do this, then they owe it to the patient to say so.
  • Example: Care provider has a responsibility to advocate for the patient versus pharmaceutical company.


3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

  • Acting in one’s own interest vs. interest of others.
  • May affect fiduciary responsibility
  • Money often the cause
  • Example: Receiving free drug samples from a  pharmaceutical representative may influence health care provider to prescribe it.


4. RELATIONSHIP BOUNDARIES

  • Health care professionals must maintain professional relationship with patients: funding/business relationships should

not affect judgment.

  • Businesses must maintain professional relationships and boundaries.
  • Community: Must maintain professional relationships.
  • Example: A female health care provider should not date a patient’s relative.


5. PRESCRIBING AUTHORITY

  • By law, only qualified individuals are permitted to prescribe medical treatments or medications
  • Must distinguish between providing limited information and advice versus prescribing treatments


6. GREATEST GOOD

  • “Distributive Justice” How to give scarce or expensive resource (e.g. medicine) to a group
  • One theory: Distribute so the group benefits versus an individual (controversial)
  • Example: Should factor be given prophylactically for sports when there is a no factor in other countries?


7. TRANSPARENCY

  • Openness
  • Communication
  • Accountability
  • Example: Mission statement with supportive goals and objectives/clear procedural policies