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Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research
College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin
ISSN: 1596-6941
Vol. 4, No. 1, 2005, pp. 22-30
Bioline Code: jm05003
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2005, pp. 22-30

 en Obligation of non-maleficence: moral dilemma in physician-patient relationship
Omonzejele, Peter F


This paper highlights the principle of non-maleficence from sections of the Hippocratic oath and those entailed in various declarations of medical ethics and conduct. The moral dilemmas associated with adherence or efforts at adherence to the principle were indicated with the use of prepared cases. The centrality of the paper is the moral conflict encountered by physicians in their efforts at maintaining the fiduciary relationship that they have with patients. The concepts of dignity, identity, harm and the definitions of brain death as different from biological death, ordinary and extraordinary health care and the principle of double effect were analysed in an attempt to resolve the moral conflict in physician-patient relationship. Cost-benefit analysis, detriment-benefit assessment and the notion of justice were also brought to bear in the effort to resolve the moral dilemma in physician-patient relationship as it borders on the obligation of non-maleficence.

Hippocrate, justice, ethics, physician, patient

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