The use of technology in medicine: How to not deconstruct our ethics

robot hand

(Franck V., Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Alyne Barreto Mesquita de Goés, a 22 years old and is studying the 7th period of medicine at Potiguar University, Natal/RN Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The theory or science of the moral conduct of the individual in relation to his similar and the environment, also known as ethics, may change according to the time of application, depending on the society and the changes that man is performing (1). In this context, the change in ethical and human experience has been evident since technology entered our social space, especially in the medical field, around the 20th century.

In this way, the health sphere has peculiar characteristics that, on the one side, it’s intimately related to scientific and technological development, causing impacts on the economy and society in general, and on the other, causes direct humanitarian repercussions on individual health and the quality of life of the populations(1) (3).

We live a generation of revolutions, intellectual and technological, in many aspects, capable of changing medical theory and practice, making it an exceptional profession (2), having some essential pillars, such as caring, pain relief and suffering, which encompasses not only the cure of pathology but also the psychic comfort of the patient, as well as the search for knowledge, insight to produce riddance, healing, better support for the patient and greater confidence for the professional.

In this sense, it’s necessary to analyze the relationship medicine/technology, due to the continuous evolution of science, globalization and the popularization of the internet and social networks have instigated immense transformation in medical education (3) (4) and, although anamnesis, physical examination and the doctor-patient relationship are the essential basis of medicine (3), it’s indispensable to develop new skills and technological capabilities in accordance with the current demands for more transparency, accuracy and therapeutic and diagnostic agility (5) (6).

From this perspective, the Manual of Ethical Principles for Health Sites, conceived by the Regional Council of Medicine of São Paulo (CREMESP) (7), suggests the creation, registration, collaboration, maintenance, act and professional idealization about medicine and health on the internet, in several aspects, without forgetting the theoretical medical principles. Soon, students will be professionals and their behaviors, inside and outside the virtual environment, need to be in accordance with the rules of the current legislation, moral and behavioral conduct aimed at a future doctor (8).

Thus, there is a need to establish methods and policies to support the development of national health restoration systems in countries that doesn’t have yet an effective scientific and technological system and to promote the international union of competent systems, so that they can be known and applied since medical graduation.

In addition, it’s imperative to establish innovative and interdisciplinary academic curriculum that encourage not only the vision of inclusion between humanity and technology, but that foster effective initiatives of technology in human conjunctures. Finally, the medical student, who is the protagonist of these changes, must have the Code of Ethics always up to date, not for permissiveness, but for the congruent performance of those who work with the most valuable gift of the human being, the life.

References

1. GD P. El neurocirujano enfrentado ao manejo de un paciente con tumor cerebral: algunas. México: Del Rey. 2009.

2. Drumond JGdF. Ética e inovação tecnológica em medicina. Bio&Thikos. 2007 Fevereiro; I(3).

3. Diretrizes Curriculares Nacionais (DCNs). Resolução CNE/CES n° 3. Ministério da Educação. 2014 20 de junho.

4. Cruess RL, Cruess SR, Steinert Y. Amending Miller’s Pyramid to Include Professional Identity Formation. Acad Med. 2016; 2(5).

5. Pander T, Pinilla S, Dimitriadis K, Fischer M. The use of Facebook in medical education – A literature review. GMS Z MedAusbild. 2017 Jul.

6. Sterling M, Leung P, Wright D, Bishop T. The use of social media in graduate medical education: a systematic review. Acad Med. 2017.

7. Conselho Regional de Medicina do Estado de São Paulo. Manual de princípios éticos para sites de medicina e saúde na internet [Internet]. São Paulo: Cremesp; 2001.

8. Simpkin AL, Walesby KE. Training tomorrow’s doctors. Future Hosp J. 2017; 4(1): 56-60)

About the author

Alyne Barreto Mesquita de Goés is a 22 years old and is studying the 7th period of medicine at Potiguar University, Natal/RN, city where she was born. She joined IFMSA Brazil UnP in the 3rd period of the college in 2017, in 2018 she was LPO-D and now she is the Local President of her committee. Observing the technology increasingly intimate with the reality of the academics of medicine, she considers that an effective approach on how to not allow such a deconstruction of medical ethics in undergraduate courses is essential.

 

 

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