I'm clearing the decks of books at the moment, one of which is McGonigle and Mastrian's Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge, Second Edition (2012). I notice a 3rd edition is in preparation.
A review will follow, but in chapter 5 on Ethical Applications of Informatics on page 73 (pb.) the four principles healthcare ethics of Beauchamp and Childress (1994) are mentioned in a very concise, informative discussion.
Although the exercise that follows involves 'putting concepts in boxes', doing so helps us to see beyond the boxes, to see the links between.
Although harm takes several forms it is physical harm (for nonmaleficence) that is most commonly thought of. This is the ethics concerning an individual so why have I placed beneficence in the sociology domain? Justice should be straight forward, but only if reinforced by law, and then only if that law is exercised. Autonomy should be straight forward. I must have the mental capacity, the insight to have choices. In the eyes of others these choices may be rationale or irrational. Although justice is place in the political (group / population) domain, rights are ascribed to individuals. This is useful property of Hodges' model the way that the individual and their mental life are diametrically placed (opposed?) and linked. It is others who are having determine the ethics of a given case, evaluating what is in the person's best interests; also having to take into account any advanced directives, or living wills.
What do you think? If you have some comments, can improve this or feel there is a correspondence here please let me know.
SOCIOLOGY : POLITICAL
- Respect for autonomy - the patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment. (Voluntas aegroti suprema lex.)
- Beneficence - a practitioner should act in the best interest of the patient. (Salus aegroti suprema lex.)
- Non-maleficence - "first, do no harm" (primum non nocere).
- Justice - concerns the distribution of scarce health resources, and the decision of who gets what treatment (fairness and equality).