The four principles of medical ethics were developed by Tom Beauchamp and James Childress in their book “Principles of Biomedical Ethics” and have become a widely accepted framework for ethical decision-making in medical practice. The four principles are respect for autonomy which emphasizes the importance of respecting a patient’s right to make decisions about their own healthcare, including the right to refuse or accept medical treatment, beneficence which emphasizes the obligation to act in the best interests of the patient and to do good, avoiding harm and promoting well-being. non-maleficence which emphasizes the obligation to not cause harm to the patient and to avoid actions that might cause harm or increase the risk of harm. and justice which emphasizes the importance of fairness and treating all patients equally and fairly, including in the distribution of healthcare resources and access to medical treatment (Page, 2012). While it is important to consider each of these principles as a healthcare provider, it is also important to integrate Christian ethics into medical practice and decision-making as well. Christian ethics are based on the biblical narrative and emphasizes the dignity and value of human life, the importance of moral responsibility, and the role of faith in shaping moral decision-making (Reilly, 2006). I believe that together, these can be powerful principles when making ethical decisions as a healthcare provider. However, I also believe that the four principles of medical ethics can also be subjective when it comes to complex matters such as euthanasia or end-of-life care. I personally believe that non-maleficence is the most important of all the principles. Though many argue that autonomy is the most important, I disagree because our minds and hearts don’t always agree. I think that some patients may let their hearts and emotions speak for them sometimes, resulting in them making decisions that may cause them more harm than anticipated. This weeks reading also brought up a valid point, in summary, it says that those who are impaired, influenced, or too young to make their own decisions cannot always make the proper decision for themselves, and therefore their respecting their autonomy may not be the best or most Jesus-like option (Grand Canyon University, 2022). As Christians it is our duty to act as Jesus would. The common phrase “what would Jesus do” comes to mind when I say that, and I think that we should always prioritize that when making decisions, followed by secular or medical ethics. Furthermore, I also agree with this weeks reading when it says that the principles of bioethics cannot be ranked but rather we should take into prioritize moral consideration in every ethical situation we are dealt (Grand Canyon University, 2022). In conclusion, though each bioethical principle is important, God’s guidance that he provides us through the bible trumps all. As followers of Jesus we should always strive to be just like him and follow the ways that he has taught us.
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