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pISSN : 2005-8284 / eISSN : 2234-3598

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2006, Vol.9, No.2

  • 1.

    The Virtue of Respect for Communication between Patients and Physicians

    김진경 | 2006, 9(2) | pp.99~112 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Some of the medical problems that physicians confront cannot be solved merely through the application of objective medical knowledge and technology. Some medical problems involve a moral dimension related to the life of the patient. Therefore, physicians should be interested, not only in medical technologies and techniques, but also in the lives of their patients. For this reason, increasing emphasis is being placed on communication between patients and physicians. In order to treat patients effectively, physicians should consider the requirements and values of their patients through dialogue with them. However, problems arise in light of the fact that patients and physicians may not always agree in the course of their communication. There is always room for conflict between the physician’s and the patient’s view of what is best for the patient. The virtue of respect, as the inner character and quality that make individuals act appropriately when faced with moral dilemmas, has an important meaning in medical practice. The virtue of respect, internalized to become part of one’s own character, becomes an important value in the decision-making process and enables physicians to do what is in the best interests of their patients. The virtue of respect is a fundamental virtue for communication between physicians and patients and is an especially important value in current medical practice, which places great emphasis on the rights of patients.
  • 2.

    Medical Disputes and Compromise

    Ryoo, Hwa-shin | 2006, 9(2) | pp.113~124 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines the relationship between poor physician-patient communication and litigation. The most important factor leading to a compromise in a medical dispute following an adverse event is a match between what the patient wants and what the physician provides. The following recommendations, based on the pew demonstration mediation and ADR project in Pensylvania hospitals, are given: 1) that physicians and other health care professionals develop an awareness of the communications skills most likely to be useful during disclosure conversations; 2) that hospitals recruit or train in-house experts available as consultants to aid in planning, conducting, and debriefing disclosure conversations; 3) that hospitals encourage physicians, patient safety officers, and risk managers to spend time planning before conducting disclosure conversations; 4) that physicians, hospital representatives, and other health care providers offer an appropriate apology after an adverse event or error; 5) that hospitals and senior physicians provide opportunities for debriefing and support for health care professionals after an error; 6) that hospitals use mediation as soon as practical after an adverse event to settle potential claims. Taking steps to improve disclosure conversations and using alternatives to litigating medical malpractice claims will help hospitals reduce costs, improve patient safety, and restore trust.
  • 3.

    Korean Patients’ Conceptions of a Good Nurse

    SungSuk Han | Young-Rhan Um | Hong,Yeo-Shin and 1other persons | 2006, 9(2) | pp.125~142 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    A study was designed to determine the characteristics, conduct, and impact of a good nurse from the point of view of patients in Korean university hospitals. The study was carried out at two university hospitals in Seoul and one university hospital outside of Seoul. A total of 600 patients (200 at each hospital) were surveyed. With respect to the characteristics of a good nurse, the study showed that patients believe that a good nurse should be kind, cheerful, sincere, trustworthy, considerate, and that nurses must treat patients like family members. In order to determine the conduct of a good nurse as viewed by patients, eight factors were considered, including compassion, professional pride, patient-centered caring, professional knowledge, trust, expertise, respect for patients, and advocacy. When attitudes towards the different factors were measured and converted to scores out of 100 percent, the factor that scored highest was professional knowledge (82.52), followed by professional pride (78.61), trust (78.11), and patient respect (76.90). As for the impact of a good nurse, patients reported that a good nurse induces trust, feelings of security, courage, and cheerfulness in patients. This research shows that a good nurse is conceived as someone who is friendly, bright, sincere, understanding, and treats the patient like family members. If a patient receives care from such a nurse, the patient will rely on the nurse, feel safe, have confidence in the struggle against his or her disease, and have a brighter disposition while undergoing care. Furthermore, although the professional knowledge and pride of nurses are important factors in a patient’s care, for nurses to have an empathetic attitude toward patients, it is suggested that they receive continued education.
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  • 5.

    Evaluation of the Level of Moral Development of Korean Nursing Students

    Sung-Hee Ahn | SEOMUN, GyeongAe | Mija Shin and 2other persons | 2006, 9(2) | pp.157~168 | number of Cited : 4
    Abstract PDF
    A study was designed to evaluate the level of moral development of 197 nursing students from five nursing schools in Korea. Data was collected through a self-reported questionnaire completed between March and April 2006. The Korean version of the DIT (Rest’s Defining Issues Test) was used to evaluate the level of moral development as measured by the score of P and stage 4. The data was analyzed by a t-test, ANOVA. The results were as follows: 1) the mean score of P and stage 4 was 41.79 and 16.31 respectively; 2) the score of P did not reveal statistically significant differences with respect to demographic variables; 3) The score of stage 4 revealed significant differences related to the level of education of each participant’s mother. These results indicate that moral development is not influenced by demographic variables. We recommend that a database of DIT scores for students in nursing and other medical fields be created. Such a database would be helpful for the further development of nursing ethics curricula.
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  • 7.

    Opinions and Suggestions of Biological Scientists on Research Ethics Education

    Cho, Eun Hee | Eun-Ae Kim | KWON Ivo and 1other persons | 2006, 9(2) | pp.187~202 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    This study was designed to examine the attitudes of biological scientists concerning research ethics education and the role of government agencies in promoting research ethics. An explanatory letter was sent via e-mail to the members of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cell Biology requesting participants to respond to an on-line questionnaire. Although most respondents claimed to be aware of the main issues in research ethics and the importance of research ethics education, 121 (or 69.1%) of the 175 participants experienced no formal training in research ethics education. The preferred formats for research ethics education among respondents included seminars at research institutes (98 respondents, 56.0%) or college courses at the undergraduate or graduate level (50, 28.6%) for less than 8 hours (117, 66.9%). Data processing and recording (122, 69.7%), authorship (109, 62.3%), and the management of research funds (105, 60.0%) were regarded as the most appropriate topics for education. Sixty-eight respondents (38.9%) reported some experiences with ethical dilemmas in conducting research and 135 (77.1%) showed interest in consulting an ombudsman if available. Chi-square analysis detected significant differences between principal investigators and other researchers concerning specific views on how research ethics education should be implemented in research institutes. To promote research integrity, respondents recommended that government agencies support research ethics education and construct an equitable, reliable, and transparent funding system for research. Jurisdiction and regulatory bodies to investigate research misconduct were also recommended.
  • 8.

    Current Status and Problems of Institutional Review Boards in Korea

    June-Seok Lee | Kim, Ock Joo | Sooyoun KIM and 1other persons | 2006, 9(2) | pp.203~222 | number of Cited : 6
    Abstract PDF
    This study was designed to examine the attitudes of biological scientists concerning research ethics education and the role of government agencies in promoting research ethics. An explanatory letter was sent via e-mail to the members of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cell Biology requesting participants to respond to an on-line questionnaire. Although most respondents claimed to be aware of the main issues in research ethics and the importance of research ethics education, 121 (or 69.1%) of the 175 participants experienced no formal training in research ethics education. The preferred formats for research ethics education among respondents included seminars at research institutes (98 respondents, 56.0%) or college courses at the undergraduate or graduate level (50, 28.6%) for less than 8 hours (117, 66.9%). Data processing and recording (122, 69.7%), authorship (109, 62.3%), and the management of research funds (105, 60.0%) were regarded as the most appropriate topics for education. Sixty-eight respondents (38.9%) reported some experiences with ethical dilemmas in conducting research and 135 (77.1%) showed interest in consulting an ombudsman if available. Chi-square analysis detected significant differences between principal investigators and other researchers concerning specific views on how research ethics education should be implemented in research institutes. To promote research integrity, respondents recommended that government agencies support research ethics education and construct an equitable, reliable, and transparent funding system for research. Jurisdiction and regulatory bodies to investigate research misconduct were also recommended.
  • 9.

    The Relationship between Genetic Determinism andEthical Issues in Genetic Testing, Research, and Therapy

    CHOI Kyungsuk | In-Hoe Ku | Kim Joong Ho and 1other persons | 2006, 9(2) | pp.223~233 | number of Cited : 10
    Abstract PDF
    Advances in the life sciences have increased our knowledge of the human genome, which in turn has given rise to worries as well as expectations over future societies. Genetic determinism is one of the philosophical sources of these worries and expectations. The purpose of this study is to describe two types of genetic determinism, strong and moderate, and then analyze the causal power of genes from the point of view of both of these theories. Genetic determinism holds that genotypes determine phenotypes. Strong and moderate genetic determinism differ on the question of whether there exist possible defeating factors. However, neither type of genetic determinism is plausible because of the complicated nature of the causal relationships between genotypes and phenotypes. Only when genes function as sufficient conditions, and not merely as necessary conditions, can they determine phenotypes. In addition, since defeating factors may exist, it is unlikely that each genotype determines its relevant phenotype. If genetic determinism is not plausible, the common view of genes must be corrected. Most research on the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes are about correlations, expressed with probabilities, rather than casual relations. This means that the interpretations of genetic experts are necessary. In addition, whether genetic determinism is plausible or not, individuals should not be stigmatized for having certain genotypes. If genetic research is about correlations, gene therapy research should be carried out with great caution based initially on animal studies. We may learn more about the complicated causal roles of genes from these correlations. From such knowledge, we may intervene in the causal chains in which genes are involved. In doing such research, patient confidentiality must be protected.
  • 10.

    A View of Life in the Discourse on Brain-Death

    Jae Sub YANG | Mi Jung Koo | 2006, 9(2) | pp.234~245 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The invention of respirators and other life support systems has challenged the traditional definition of death. If the absence of a heartbeat and spontaneous breathing are the signs of death, how do these criteria apply when one is on a respirator? Alongside these technical inventions, the field of organ transplantation continues to develop and has become a significant factor in forcing us to rethink the traditional definition of death, that is, the death of the heart and lungs. The definition of death is further complicated by the fact that dying is a continual and gradual process, although life and death are often considered to be distinct states. For all of these reasons, the definition of death involves an essential interpretive component. Accordingly, this article examines contemporary responses to the new definitions of death, such as whole brain death, neocortical death, and brain stem death. The authors claim that attempts to define death in terms of the loss of a particular function of the brain derive from a mechanical, reductionist, and hierarchical view of life, which has also given rise to the idea that human life begins 14 days after fertilization. It is argued that, from a holistic or organic perspective, the concept of brain death must be treated with caution, although there are pragmatic considerations in support of its use.