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The Ethical Relationship Between Technology And Medicine

1308 words - 6 pages

Society is not the only dynamic entity in the doctor-patient relationship. Medicine as a science is in perpetual change, while medicine as an art is marked by constancy and fidelity. The science of medicine and the rapid change of technology applied to medicine, involving the possibility that there may be conflict between the practice, innovation and what the public demand. This conflict could undermine the social contract of medicine and it must be addressed firmly. Provided that the practice is challenged by new technology, the right course of action cannot be dictated by morality and standards based on previous experiences. When the correct course of action is unclear, dialogue is ...view middle of the document...

The chance of developing breast cancer, colon cancer, certain thyroid cancers, neurological conditions, and some mental illnesses can be diagnosed even in childhood. What does this knowledge in terms of privacy, self determination and self-image of our patients?. What is the ethical guidelines for genetic testing? . We are able to improve the genetics of life forms through genetic engineering. Bacteria could be changed to produce useful products such as insulin and other medications. It is conceivable that the human genome can be changed by inserting new genes or deletion of genes that produce pathologies. New skills for human beings, now found only in animals and plants could be introduced to improve our performance. We could run like a gazelle, stop our breath for an hour as cetaceans or retain information like a computer. We could remove the gene for schizophrenia or change the color of eyes or hair, skin pigmentation or family characteristics such as a large nose. Action could restore tumor suppressor genes to stop its growth in cancer patients. But who decides what to do or what is better?. Who decides whether it is appropriate to change the order of the genetic bases maintained by millions of years, just based on current concepts of beauty, diet, longevity, optimal functioning and biodiversity?. The genome is not as mysterious as before, but its complexity still defies understanding which would imply a change in genetic engineering that could take another million years in human development. Certainly there are situations in which genetic modifications are well understood and reasons justifying them. However, genetic manipulation can change the lives of our descendants forever so you must be an ethical dialogue to find the right course of action. Another area of technology that involves the privacy and individuality is the science of information. Much information can be collected and stored in unknown places, be seen by people we do not choose or not favorable to our interests can be sent around the world and affect our lives with unknown performances. The information science and computer science is with us and cannot put aside. Perhaps the information science cannot even be regulated. But at least in medicine, we can follow application information ethics that respects the dignity and privacy of our patients. There are laws in the United States, encouraged by doctors, which impose severe penalties for violating patient confidentiality. The latest federal law promises to do something similar when a company wants to dismiss a worker for a health problem or when an insurance company wants to remove a person with knowledge of your medical information private. With the amount of information available, there are cases where someone takes electronically the identity of another person taking their resources, citizenship, its privileges and credentials. Medicine can be a diagnostic code for every human being. The science of information is a great...

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