The harm principle has been widely used for constraining and guiding reproductive rights since John A. Robertson defined reproductive rights and gave presumptive primacy to them. However, this article argues that the peculiar attributes of reproductive ethics, in which it is necessary to compare existing to non-existing beings, make the harm principle incapable of properly guiding reproductive rights. At best the harm principle can play an auxiliary role in this task. This article calls for an alternative principle for guiding reproductive rights.
A web survey was conducted to examine the experiences with, and understanding of medical decision-making among adults in South Korea. The subjects for the study were 500 residents, 19 years of age or older living in Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, and Incheon. The average satisfaction with the current health-care system was found to be 3.08 on a 5-point Likert scale. The degree of trust in health institutes was 3.15 and the degree of trust in medical doctors was 3.24. More than 90% of the respondents want to receive an accurate diagnosis when they experience a serious disease, and 73.2% want to be informed from the doctor directly. With respect to medical decision-making, 41.2% of subjects prefer a decision-making model that involves the doctor, the patient, and a guardian (usually a family member); 36.2% of subjects prefer that the relevant decisions be made by the patient in consultation with the doctor. More than 60.0% of subjects answered that they would respect the preference of their parents in medical decision-making, while 21.0% responded that it would depend on the condition. The gender, age, occupation, and education level all had very little influence on subjects’ responses; gender did exhibit some influence on certain items. The results of this study indicate that while Korean adults accept the importance of their own judgements in medical decision-making, many of them want to engage their guardians in the actual decision-making process.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a bioethics education program on caregivers’ understanding of biomedical ethics and their attitudes toward the elderly. A nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design was adopted. The subjects in this study were 58 caregivers who work in long-term care facilities in South Korea. An experimental group and a control group were organized with 29 caregivers in each group, and the effects of the bioethics education program developed for this study were tested. The data were analyzed with the SPSS 19.0K statistical package. The findings of the study were as follows. First, after subjects in the experimental group received the bioethics education program, positive changes were detected in their understanding of biomedical ethics and their attitudes to the elderly. Second, the experimental group underwent more positive changes than the control group in terms of their understanding of the right to life of fetuses, artificial abortion, artificial insemination, prenatal diagnosis of fetuses, brain death and human biotechnology as well as in their attitudes toward the elderly. Accordingly, the bioethics education program that was provided to caregivers in this study had a positive effect on caregivers’ understanding of biomedical ethics and their attitudes toward the elderly.
This study was designed to compare the availability and effectiveness of both cinema and role-playing as teaching-learning methods in nursing ethics education. A mixed-method research design combining a survey and content analysis was conducted. Data were collected from 2013 to 2015. Participants were 137 senior undergraduate nursing students in a college of nursing in South Korea. Both the cinema and role-playing methods showed high degrees of availability and effectiveness in nursing ethics education. Cinema showed the statistically significantly higher levels of availability, effectiveness, helpfulness for improving ethical decision-making, intention to use, and intention to recommend. The results of this study show that cinema may be a more useful and effective teaching-learning method for nursing ethics education. These findings can be used in developing effective teaching-learning methods for nursing and medical educators in order to improve the decision-making abilities of students and health care providers.
Substituting other unauthorized doctor for a surgeon given prior permission by the patient, or allowing an unauthorized doctor to perform surgery without proper supervision corresponds to ghost surgery. Ghost surgery constitutes an infringement on a patient's inherent personal right to control his/her own body and a right to well-informed decision on his/her intention. Such illegal medical practices destroy trust relationships between a doctor and a patient, and may be punished for violating criminal laws, the Medical Service Act, and the Act on Special Measures for the Control of Public Health Crimes. Assistance provided by a resident or a fellow surgeon under proper supervision after disclosing all substantial information related to surgery to a patient and obtaining informed consent does not fall under ghost surgery. The ghost surgery may happen in any hospital. To avoid this, the role, position and identification of the surgeon, including the surgeon's participation, should be disclosed on the written consent form, as well as in the obligatory explanation of the surgeon. The smooth communication and interaction between physicians and patients are essential for the success of treatment. It is important for a patient to ask questions about surgery in order to avoid ghost surgery and to get clear and comprehensible answers to the questions. The doctor should take responsibility for the patients well-being in the whole process of surgery as well as the doctor should not substitute a surgeon, practicing a deception on the patient, nor leave the operating room or the patient.
How should physicians respond to patients who request medically unnecessary surgical procedures? This situation arises frequently in medical practice. Most medical colleges educate their students on how to deal with legal and ethical challenges they might encounter in clinical practice. This article introduces readers to how a doctor’s duty to inform patients, especially concerning the issue of medically unnecessary surgeries, was taught in a doctoring integration course at Yonsei University College of Medicine in South Korea. Furthermore, this article characterizes the moral responsibilities that were found in actual clinical cases. The overall aim of the aim of the article is to provide clinicians in South Korea with new perspectives with which to improve the practice of clinical medicine in this country.
Conflicts of interests (COIs) in academic publishing demand special attention because they call into question the objectivity, integrity, and credibility of research results. This article reports on an examination of the policies regarding COIs of medical journals in South Korea. As a point of comparison we first examined the COI policies of the top nine international medical journals as measured in terms of journal citation reports (JCRs). Each of these journals defined COIs and stated policies regarding both financial and non-financial COIs. Furthermore, all nine journals required full disclosure of any COIs. We then examined the 160 medical journals that are used by members of the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences (KAMS). We found that 142 journals (89%) had a COI policy but only 80 journals (56%) of these provided a definition of COIs. Furthermore, 139 journals (98%) had a policy in relation to financial COIs but only 64% had a policy regarding non-financial COIs. All of the journals required disclosure of any COIs. COI policies should be clear and specific in terms of defining the different types of COIs and identifying the precise disclosure requirements. A standardized policy will help to promote a better understanding of COIs for those involved in the publication process and protect the credibility and integrity of medical journals in Korea.