Ethics In Primary Health Care – ICTPH Ethics Series

Primary health care is an building block of health care system. Primary health care is the first point of contact between the individual and the health care. ICTPH has been working on improvement and seamless delivery of primary health care in India. The indian primary healthcare scenario is fuzzy with multiple players both public and private, multiple medical sciences mainstream and holistic.  Given this all scenario with complex inter player relationship, medical ethics is not given the priority that it deserves at primary health care.

Most practitioners at primary level are MBBS graduates, AYUSH graduates, and the support staff is Nursing graduate or diploma holder or ancillary health worker. Medical ethics even though taught in MBBS or AYUSH graduate level, the context is mostly medico legal specific and deals with simple do’s and dont’s for medical practitioners. (1) The undermining of medical ethics and its principles form the induction of medical education itself leads to unintentional disregard for application of ethical principles during clinical practice. All tough most of the clinicians and allied health workers abide to fair and transparent clinical practice, lack of knowledge of the medical ethics may severely hamper the clinical judgement and the expected outcome.

We are starting this series Ethics In Primary Health Care as an inductive course of four blogs, which will help clinicians and allied health workers to understand the basic principles of ethics in medical practice and application of ethical principles in medical practice with simple examples. According to Belmont Report (2) published in 1979 four principles were adapted as the basic principles of the ethics

  1.  Autonomy
  2.  Beneficence
  3.  Non maleficence
  4.  Justice

We will discuss in detail about all these four principles orderly in upcoming series

References

  1. Syllabus – MBBS.pdf.
  2. The Belmont Report [Internet]. HHS.gov. 2010 [cited 2016 Oct 1]. Available from: http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/index.html

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