The Paramount Importance of Ethics in Clinical Practice

Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics | Vol 4 | Issue 2 |  July-Dec 2019 | page:1 | Dr. Nicholas Antao, Dr. Ashok Shyam

Author: Dr. Nicholas Antao [1], Dr. Ashok Shyam [2, 3]

[1] Hill Way Clinic, Hill N Dale Building, 4th Floor, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050
[2] Sancheti Institute for Orthopaedics and Rehablitation, Pune, India
[3] Indian Orthopaedic Research Group, Thane, India.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Nicholas Antao
Head of Dept. of Orthopaedics, Holy Spirit Hospital, Mahakali Road, Andheri (E), Mumbai – 400093 India.

The Paramount Importance of Ethics in Clinical Practice

The strongest endeavour that any human being going for itself is its own moral integrity and its own heart. Only Morality can give beauty & dignity to Life
-Albert Einstein

Ethics is derived from Greek word Ethos which means -the study of what is morally right and what is not. Oxford Dictionary defines it as “The science of morals, the department of study concerned with the principles and physics of human behaviour and conduct”. In a more practical sense by morals and ethics, it is meant the doctrine of a special kind of pleasure or displeasure which is felt by the human mind in contemplating certain courses of conduct, whereby they are felt to be right or wrong, and of a special desire to do the right things and avoid the wrong ones. We believe that it is an inbuilt and strong program which is evolved in human psyche over thousands of years of evolution and we agree with Einstein that it is what adds beauty and dignity to Life as a whole.
For ethical things that have a clear black and white definitions, there are laws of the land that uphold them. But for most day to day ethical issues, our own moral compass guides us. How does this impact clinical practice? This part has been specifically addressed in our guest editorial by Dr.Anukant Mittal. He has written about the MCI guidelines that apply to us as clinicians and also on moral issues. Dr KH Sancheti also in his walkathon, has spoken on how we should function keeping ethical things in mind for building our clinical practice.
We believe that at many places, we start to discount ethics early in career due to various social and financial reasons. We try to follow the current trends in ethics and since we see many following particular trends we believe it to the right one. This discounting of morals and ethics slowly becomes a habit and we start discounting them in other areas of life too and soon enough before we realise it becomes significant enough to affect our mental peace. At this stage, we take the defence of ignoring it and also rationalising it [by taking examples of peers and colleagues]. This vicious cycle once sets in; it is tough to break as it becomes completely invisible to us. Once in a while when certain things like violence against doctors happen or there is a talk on the degrading status of doctors in society, that we realise it. However, as a habit, we learn to ignore it and go with it for as long as possible. The journey of the medical profession that begins with very high ethical and moral standards in each of our minds thinks less and less of it as we grow in the profession.
We feel keeping a check on our ethical and moral on a regular basis in clinical practice would definitely help us in becoming better surgeons. It will not only help us in becoming more peaceful and hold our dignity but will also avoid incidences like patient violence.
We believe a more introspection is needed in this aspect from all of us.

Dr Nicholas Antao
Dr Ashok Shyam.

How to Cite this article: Antao N, Shyam AK. The Paramount Importance Of Ethics in ClinicalPractice. Journal of Clinical Orthopaedics July -Dec 2019; 4(2):1.

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