How Do Ethics Factor Into the Medical Field?

Every day, doctors must make decisions about the type of care to provide to patients. Most of the time, they make those decisions based on the evidence presented and their training. Yet, there are times when mistakes occur. We also have to consider the role that ethics play in the medical field and how that can impact your ability to recover long-term from losses you have incurred.

If you were hurt due to the mistakes of a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other medical provider, it is critical that you take legal action to protect yourself. At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, our Portland medical malpractice lawyer has the necessary experience to help you navigate your legal rights. 

What Is Ethics in Medical Matters?

Many medical malpractice cases focus heavily on the mistakes that doctors make. However, there are many situations in which it is not the mistake a doctor makes but ethics that get in the way of what occurs. Doctors take an oath to do no harm to a patient through the Hippocratic Oath.

There are times when a doctor cannot do anything to help save a patient. However, if they can do something, they are ethically obliged to do so, and not doing so for the wrong reasons can lead to losses. A doctor must respect a patient’s autonomy and dignity as well. While medical conditions often limit a person’s ability to meet their day-to-day needs, they should still have the right to self-determination. If a patient can make decisions about themselves, then they should be able to do so. Informed consent is one component of that process.

Core to this includes:

  • Nonmaleficence. A doctor should not allow harm to happen to a patient due to their own neglectful actions.
  • Beneficence. A doctor has the requirement to act in the patient’s best interests, including giving patients medications to reduce pain and taking steps to avoid injury to that party.
  • Autonomy. This is the principle that a doctor has to allow the patient to have the right to exercise control over their treatment whenever possible and not make decisions for the patient.
  • Justice. This principle means that all patients must be treated fairly by doctors, which includes providing equitable care and not denying, restricting, or otherwise providing a lower standard of care because of factors like gender, ethnicity, economic class, gender identity, and expression, or other factors.

When a doctor makes a decision that puts others at risk, and it falls under one of these four classifications of ethics, medical malpractice may become a factor. This is not simplistic to prove, but our attorneys can help you.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys to Learn How We Can Help You

If you believe your doctor made ethical mistakes that led to the complexities that you are facing and the losses you have suffered, we want to help you. Contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC to learn more about the legal rights you have in matters like this. Do not wait to contact us to request a free consultation to discuss your case.