Does Religion Kill? An Ethical Analysis


Healthcare professionals (HCP’s) encounter many ethical dilemmas in the clinical areas, every day. Treatment refusal is one of the ethical challenges, specially, when they are based on Jehovah's Witnesses. The focus of the healthcare profession is the betterment of the patient, family, and community. They follow ethical principles as a valuable tool in the process of decision making to maximize patient’s health by protecting patient’s rights through advocacy and ethical judgment and it is considered the heart of clinical nursing practices.

An ethical principle of autonomy and beneficence is discussed in this paper. HCPs should respect the principle of autonomy of the patient and her right to choose appropriate possible outcomes directed by her religion. In a same way, many ethical theories suggest that the autonomy of the patient should not be violated and the decision should be taken according to the nature of health issue. In a clinical practice, refusal to medical treatment is common and HCPs understands and follow ethical principles then act, accordingly. An ethical committee should be made for legal and ethical consideration to ensure a sound decision for such critical dilemma. The organization should conduct some educational program for the HCPs, so that ethical dilemmas may be resolved on a timely and in efficient manners.

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Eliza Grace
Managing Editor
Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics
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