Two key documents that outline a physician’s responsibility to professional ethics in terms of the legal and regulatory requirements that govern the practice of medicine in Canada are:
- The CMA Code of Ethics
- The Medical Council of Canada’s Considerations for Cultural-Communication, Legal, Ethical and Organizational Aspects of the Practice of Medicine (C2LEO)
These documents will provide you with a deepened understanding of policies and guidelines that form a common ethical framework for Canadian physicians. It’s important to recognize that while professional ethics are in part universal, they are also very culturally specific, and respond to the cultural values of the society in which a physician is practicing medicine. As mentioned earlier, with an increased trend towards global professional migration, there is also an increased likelihood of tensions between different ethical principles, legal or regulatory requirements and the ethical convictions of an individual physician. In some situations these tensions may require a physician to balance personal, cultural or religious beliefs with a patient’s right to medical treatment.
Here’s what you need to do:
Read the following documents:
These documents represent professional guidelines that play out in a variety of complex and unique medical cases.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the previous two documents, read the handout Ethical Case Scenarios. Analyze these cases from an ethical perspective. In your notebook, indicate what approach you would take to resolve the dilemmas presented by responding to the questions accompanying each case scenario.
Choose a case from the above Ethical Case Scenarios that you find to be ethically complex from your perspective. Go to the Group Forum and explain your reasons for choosing the case in the Deepening Understanding Task 1.1 topic. Then explain how you would resolve the ethical dilemma in the Deepening Understanding Task 1.2 topic.
Read the cases presented by others and make comments on the responses of your online colleagues as you wish.