Thoughts on Wellness: Health Care Ethics

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Administering Health Care With Compassion

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With holistic health care becoming more widely accepted in the mainstream medical community, as well as a general shift towards a greater belief in the comprehensive concept of wellness as it relates to the total picture of one’s health, subjects like health care ethics are being discussed more and more. And of course, this makes perfect sense once you begin picking apart the ideas behind the administration of ethical health care.

In decades past, health care and medicine were thought of as a majority-science based discipline, with doctors and nurses formally assuming a position of authority and knowledge. With the dawn of the information age and the rise of the Internet, things started to change. This is a gross simplification, obviously, but exactly where things started to shift. Because consumers are more knowledgeable and in possession of more information that may have previously been only for a privileged few, people asked more questions and demanded a broader awareness of their overall health picture. Health care ethics, then, primarily deals with the integration of compassion with the science of medicine and healthcare, and has risen to the forefront of the conversation about health and wellness.

Where to Learn More About Healthcare Ethics

We promote education a lot on this site — in fact, it’s the basis of the site in the first place, namely, this blog functions as an exploration of various concepts that all clustered together form a broad idea about wellness — greater consciousness with regard to one’s health, all the way to the health of the planet, and everything in between. Our mission from the very start was to examine things, and then present our research and thoughts on them in this space. As such, here are a few places around the web where we’ve found information on health care ethics, any of which make great starting points for either personal awareness, or for someone looking to pursue an advanced degree like a Masters in health care ethics from Creighton University.

The field of health care ethics is complex, and reasonably so as it touches on social politics, disparities between different incomes and social stratification, as well as economics and how much we spend for what we get when seeking treatment. Masters programs dealing with this subject attempt to provide students with a well-rounded approach to the problem, engaging aspects of philosophy, history, culture and even legal components.

Ascension Health has put together an information powerhouse on health care ethics, mostly from a religious vantage point, but the site gives a comprehensive picture of the subject and deals with many of the principles of health care ethics in a format that offers both definition and explanation. Visit their Key Ethical Principles page for more details.

The Summa Health System website also has some information defining health care ethics and providing resources for additional study. Find more details on their Healthcare Ethics page now.

The Center for Advocacy and Ethics in Healthcare site is almost entirely dedicated to the subject, and is well worth a visit. You can learn more about what the Center does here. Lastly, The Emanuel Medical Center‘s site provides a ton of useful information as well, outlining exactly what health care ethics are, how they are applied, how an ethics committee functions, and more. And while I don’t personally get tangled up in researching things through Wikipedia, their page on Medical Ethics is a fairly solid starting point, with some interesting information on the history and development of ethics in health care.

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