STS 200 Final Paper

STS 200 Final Paper - STS 200 Sec.001 Medical Anthropology:...

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STS 200 Sec.001 Medical Anthropology: Bioethics and Mental Health The area of medical anthropology I want to focus on is bioethics. According to dictionary.com, bioethics is defined as “a field of study concerned with the ethics and philosophical implications of certain biological and medical procedures, technologies, and treatments, as organ transplants, genetic engineering, and care of the terminally ill.” I would like to be active on the medical aspect of bioethics such as the values that the doctors has and how these values can either help or harm their patients. These values are beneficence (act in the best interest of the patient), non-maleficence (“first, do no harm”), autonomy (patient has the right to refuse or choose their treatment), justice (fairness and equality), dignity (patient and whoever is treating the patient have the right to respect), and truthfulness and honesty (concept of informed consent). Euthanasia is an interesting topic because if an individual chooses to die by medical means, they should be allowed to as long as they gave their consent. To get myself involved in this area, I need to research any polices about euthanasia in the United States then branch out into the international view of it. I would also need to view the debates about this topic as well. It would be very useful to understand the different positions about why euthanasia would be good or bad for the medical field. The history of euthanasia started back to the times of the Greeks and Romans who did not believe that life need to be preserve at any cost and were tolerant of suicide when there were no cases of relief for the dying or when a person did not cared about h/her life anymore. Euthanasia received a lot of attention during World War II, when Hilter ordered “mercy killings” of the sick and disabled in a program code called Aktion T 4. This
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program’s main objective was to eliminate “life unworthy of life”. It first targeted newborns and very young children. These children up to age three were registered by midwives and doctors who showed any symptoms of mental retardation, physical deformity, or other symptoms mentioned on a Reich Health Ministry questionnaire. The child would be determined by medical experts to either live or die based on that questionnaire without giving h/her any examinations and without reading their medical records. Later the program was expanded to include older disabled children and adults which followed the same procedure with the questionnaire being administered to mental institutions, hospitals, and other institutions caring for the chronically ill. The Nazis use of this practice made other countries including the United States question if whether or not euthanasia was ethical. By the 1930s in the United States, interest in euthanasia has peaked as part of the
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STS 200 Final Paper - STS 200 Sec.001 Medical Anthropology:...

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