History of Medical Ethics | An Introduction

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Medical ethics are the set of rules with 4 basic pillars which are considered compulsory in the field of medicine to encompass values. To know more keep going with further readings. Thanks

The field of medicine dates back to the 5th century of the Hippocrates, a Greek physician. He is considered the most valuable figure in the history of medicine. He was also recognized as ‘father of the medicine.’ There is a Hippocratic Oath that doctors take in their graduation ceremony honoring the promise to fulfill their duty with utmost earnestly.

During World War II, the doctors were experimenting on their patients, who didn’t even know what was happening with them. No ethics or follow-ups were being followed in medical procedures by the societies. And to stop these horror and barbaric streams, medical ethics came to being. 

The term, ‘medical ethics’, was first introduced in a paper by Thomas Percival in 1803. The paper states effective and efficient ways to treat patients. By the 19th century, medical ethics were ruled as a self-conscious talk. In 1970, the amplifying influence of ethics lead to the documented version of medical ethics through bioethics (a study of the ethical issues) and a committee was made in the hospitals to look over the relationship between physicians and their patients. 

Medical ethics are the set of rules which are deemed necessary in the field of medicine to encompass values. They are applied in the field to lessen the problems and conflicts of the patients, as well as to make them aware of their treatment plans. It comprises of 4 basic pillars - autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. There are no specific orders in which they are used. 

The rationale of it is to hold value in terms of building and sustaining a good relationship between doctors and their patients. NursingEssays.CO.UK provides reliable information regarding medical ethics. It is one of the authentic sources on the internet, which has easy access and value in the professional field. 

These terms of medical ethics are infusing in doctors’ job description for optimizing and interacting with the patient. The following of these subdivisions of medical ethics have subsequent use and the users are as follow:


Autonomy means patients are aware of their autonomous rights regarding their choice of doctor, procedure and the cure. It is vital in the decision-making process of the patient and makes doctors liable to inform their patients about the risk, success rate, and the benefits of the treatment. The patient profile is undisclosed with other staff or family members, constructing a trusting relationship between physicians and patients.


It links the doctor with good virtues, allowing him to choose what’s best for his patient. The doctors need to provide a successful treatment plan to patients for effective recovery and offer care during post and pre-operation. Such plans are continuously updating with the newest techniques and skills to provide the best service to the patients.


This regards to zero bad intentions of doctors regarding their patients. The doctors must choose the best procedures to not harm the patients or give them stress. Considerably, a doctor is required to deliver any medical-related news in a matter that it doesn’t sabotage the patient’s health. 


If we talk about justice, every field requires a just system to treat people fairly, which is vital for organizations to excel. In medical terminology, justice seeks the right procedures that should be delivered to the patients at the right time. Also, justice ensures that the rights of the patients, their confidentiality, as well as the risk of treatment are discussed beforehand.

Because of these value-added lessons in the medical field, the relationship between the patient and a doctor can suffice. Physicians have to deal with all kinds of patients differing from ethnicity to religion; taking maximum effort to communicate for their treatments, doctors infuse these rules and regulations to form a good relationship.

The concept of medical ethics went through multiple changes to solidify the framework of sustaining a good communication channel between physicians and patients. However, a lot of conflicts cannot be dealt with through rigid solutions. This is why every hospital has its own community of ethics to rectify the situation. These rules are made to improve the experience of patients and allow them to choose what is best for them.