The ethics of the Medical Technology Civilisation era

Medical ethics

(Marcelo Leal, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Lesley Roks, a third year student of medicine working as LVPI in IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar. 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.


In analyzing medical advances in the second half of the twentieth century, one can understand how the new technological age influences ethical dilemmas, especially in the medical field, since we’re faced with a complex ranof innovations such as genetic engineering, cloning, assisted reproduction techniques and robotics.

Concurrently with the progressive increase in medical science related to areas that challenge not only technical but above all ethical problems, we’re confronted with a growing awareness of fundamental human rights and consequently with the fact that people no longer accept any medical procedure without their prior free and informed consent.

From this, it was necessary to create an expression that questioned the obstacles that were about to arise, thus comes to light the principle of responsibility healed by the philosopher Hans Jonas. With Jonas, a new perspective emerges as to the future beings to ethically demand the commitment of those who will generate them, that’s, in the face of the inevitable advances of technologies, we must ask ourselves if we’ve the right to risk the future life of humanity and the planet or don’t.

Undoubtedly, after the globalization of his thinking, the concept of “bioethics” comes into vogue, which manifests itself in the recognition of ethical obligations, not only with respect to the human being, but to all living beings. In this way, bioethics becomes the drain of two great forms of human knowledge: symbolic knowledge and scientific knowledge.

With this, the expected profile of the medical student’s that of a doctor with critical and reflexive training, able to act as promoter of the integral health of the human being, based on ethical principles. After all, I consider it extremely relevant to take into account the desensitized and impartial reality within the university hospital internships, since what’s noticed in the health practices is the creation of a paralyzed professional, without the conditions to reflect and schedule a sustained action against the bioethical dilemmas that’re imposed on it by adopting a mechanical stance, dissociated from its more intrinsic human aspects.

As a result, another point to address this new reality’s related to the increase in the life expectancy of individuals, making it necessary for health professionals to a greater understanding of care with life, the process of dying, pain and suffering.

Thus, one can perceive the profound flaw in the exercise of morality, arising then the development of bioethics, which becomes a new milestone for the renewal of ethical studies, conferring them more concreteness. After all, this dimension values a person constituted of body and soul, aiming at an integral conception of the individual and not only the sectorization of the diagnosis and the depersonalization of the disease. It’s only with the improvement of individuals that an equitable world’s constructed, which allows the defense of all the good of the person. To that end, each one of us must work for our own development and share a responsibility with all humanity, only in this way can one completely change the doctor-patient relationship, right? 

References 

Volnei G., Martorell L. B., Nascimento, WF. “Criticism of principialism in bioethics: perspectives from the north and from the south.” Saúde e Sociedade25 (2016): 442-451.

Figueiredo, A. M. (2018). “Bioethics: criticism of principialism, Brazilian constitution and principle of human dignity.” Revista Bioética 26.4.

Pegoraro, O. A. “Ethics and science: philosophical foundations of bioethics.” Ethics, science and health: challenges of bioethics.” Petrópolis: s/e (2002): 46-61.

Pegoraro, O. “Human existence is careful existence.” Pessini L, Bertachini L, Barchifontaine CP, organizadores. Op. cit (2009): 225-36.

Motta, L. C. D. S., Vidal, S. V., & Siqueira-Batista, R. Bioethics: after all, what is this? Rev. Soc. Bras. Clín. Méd. (2012).

Goldim, J. R. (2006). Bioethics: origins and complexity. Revista HCPA. Porto Alegre. (2006). 2: 86-92.

Pontes, A. C., Espíndula, J. A., Valle, E. R. M. D., & Santos, M. D. (2007). Bioethics and health professionals: some reflections. Bioethikos, 1(1), 68-75.

Silva, J., Carneiro Leão, H. M., & de Andrade Costa Pereira, A. C. (2013). Teaching bioethics at medical school: experience report. Revista Bioética, 21(2).

About the author

Lesley Roks is a third year student of medicine working as LVPI in IFMSA Brazil
UniCesumar. Skills: responsibility, organization, pro activity, and good interpersonal
relationships and group work, all developed and improved with the help of her local
committee. She is part of two academic leagues: pediatrics and infectology. She has
been very active in college in relation to participation in campaigns, student events
and scientific projects, especially when there’s the involvement of IFMSA Brazil
UniCesumar, which she has participated in since her first year and intends, in the next
years, to grow even more with it to act nationally.

 

 

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