Thursday, January 21, 2010

Introduction - Beginning to Making Sense of Medical / Healthcare Ethics

I was trying to think of some topic to kick-off this blog. Although there are literally thousands of news articles, debates, and blog posts covering various niches within the topic of healthcare, I noticed that almost all fail at one aspect: making it understandable!

So, I think it's crucial just to take some ideas, and put them in the simplest terms possible.

First ad foremost, what is Philosophy? Philosophy literally means a "love of wisdom". The study of philosophy is based on three main practices:
1.) Understanding specific pieces of knowledge
2.) Debates
3.) Creating theories (usually arise after knowledge and debates)

There are five specific areas of philosophy, but we are only going to focus on Ethics.

What is ethics? Ethics is simply one's ideas of what is right and wrong.

What is Medical Ethics? When a couple people talk about moral values (what they strongly 'believe' in) within medical practice and research. Specifically, this is often a debate, in which others are trying to convince the others involved with the discussion that certain medical professionals, family, and insurance companies are responsible for certain aspects within the medical world and situations.

What is Healthcare Ethics? A sub-topic within Medical Ethics, covering issues regarding topics like euthenasia, assisted suicide, insurance, genetic research, and many more. Healthcare is a large sub-topic, and has been of huge focus within the Unitied States goverment.

While politicians and professionals seem to have this particular interest, it is hard for regular, uneducated citizens to have a full grasp (especially young adults). One main reason why it is difficult being able for us to openly discuss about healthcare and ethics is simply for two reasons:

1.) The language and terms are too complex (which is why only doctors and individuals who make it their life's duty towards understanding medical ethics are the ones talking about it constantly)
2.) Ethics is often debated (Debates tend to be negative, even hostile, so many simply avoid the topic)

As it was with this understanding that I began this blog, there is a real lack of iniative within the general population in fully understanding healthcare, and from this the nation is under a crisis. Being ignorant is only creating more problems. If we all can start to become knowledgeable, the more actions we can take towards a better medical and healthcare system.

...that was a lot to digest, so just take some time to let it set, and tomorrow we will breakdown the four frameworks of ethics.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to PHIL 325: Medical / Healthcare Ethics

Welcome to PHIL 325, a little place on the internet that will help make understanding Medical and Healthcare Ethics easier, along withdaily discussions on current trends and topics on this very significant topic.

Primarily, the format of PHIL 325 will go as follows:

Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays: A daily educational overview of Medical and Healthcare Ethics.
Tuesdays/Thursdays: Open-ended questions and discussions on what is happening within our world, specifically regarding healthcare.

In addition, I will be sure to add a little section for resources, in which it will help you with anything from finding useful medical sites to terms that may be unfamiliar to you.

I also wish you to share your thoughts on my daily writings, and I look forward to exchanging ideas and viewpoints.

My goal is to help you with ethics, as this is something that everyone should have an understanding. Medical and healthcare ethics is a part of our lives from birth to death, yet we tend to separate ourselves from it. Why is this so? I believe it is from the political and heavily-opinionated aspects that seem to pollute the essential values of ethics.

On that note, I look forward to the next couple of months, and hope you enjoy this as well!