1st Edition

Giving Voice to Values as a Professional Physician An Introduction to Medical Ethics

By Ira Bedzow Copyright 2019
    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    130 Pages
    by Routledge

    Giving Voice to Values as a Professional Physician provides students with the theoretical background and practical applications for acting on their values in situations of ethical conflict. It is the first medical ethics book that utilizes the Giving Voice to Values methodology to instruct students in medical ethics and professionalism.

    In doing so, it shifts the focus of ethics education from intellectually examining ethical theories and conflicts to emphasizing moral action. Each section of the book explains how moral decision-making and action can be implemented in the healthcare arena. Medical ethics cases are provided throughout in order to assist students in giving voice to their values and developing skills for professional action. The Giving Voice to Values methodology, and the cases in this book, do not focus on the big questions of academic ethics, but rather on the ethics of the everyday, even if the challenges presented are difficult. In other words, the ethical questions students will have to face, in this book and in medical education and practice, are about how to interact with others, whether they be patients or colleagues, who might have different ethical positions.

    The book provides a unique guide for professional identity formation and the teaching of ethics in medical schools.

    Acknowledgements, Preface, Chapter 1 Ethics, Professionalism and Giving Voice to Values, The Uniqueness of Professionalism Education, Professionalism as a Value not a Competency , Giving Voice to Values, Starting Assumptions to Give Voice to one’s Values, Chapter 2 Making Moral Decisions, The Gut Reaction, Moral Awareness: Bias Check, Conformity Bias, Obedience to Authority, Framing, Recognizing and Prioritizing Facts & Values, The Patient-Physician Relationship, Patient Autonomy, Physicians’ Professional Goals, Physician Authority & Professional Integrity, One Note on Values, Ethical Frameworks, Deontological (Kantian) Ethics, Consequentialist (Utilitarian) Ethics, Values(s) Comparison Between Deontology and Consequentialism, Principlism or the Four Principles Approach, Chapter 3 Acting on Moral Decisions, Moral (Inaction): Rationalizations Check, Personal-Professional Profiles, Considering other Stakeholders, Organizational and Systems-Based Levers, Creating Scripts, Chapter 4 Cases, Case 1: Confronting a superior, Case 2: HIV Mothers and Breastfeeding Their Newborns, Case 3: Reporting a colleague , Case 4: Talking to Family Members about a Patient’s Medical Information, Case 5: Speaking to a Colleague About a Patient’s Complaints, Case 6: Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Case 7: Talking to Patients about Assisted Reproductive Technologies, Case 8: Withdrawing treatment and Right to Die, Case 9: Determination of Death, Conclusion, Appendix I: Intended Audience & How to Use This Book, Appendix II: Example Action Plan & Script for Case 1


    Ira Bedzow is the director of the Biomedical Ethics and Humanities Program at New York Medical College and Senior Scholar at the Aspen Center for Social Values. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and chapters on law, ethics, and social values.

    "Bedzow provides a compelling and practical framework for health care providers to act on their professional values. He goes beyond an analysis of actual cases to giving us the skills to speak up so we do the right thing for our patients. This is a book that anyone committed to creating an ethical culture of continuous improvement should read."

    Lisa Soleymani Lehmann, Harvard Medical School and Veterans Health Administration, USA

    "In a remarkable confluence of scholarship and practical wisdom, Bedzow’s short book manages to be academically rigorous but much more than an academic treatise. He has woven together several contemporary views of medical professionalism, along with the powerful vision of the Giving Voice to Values paradigm, to create a novel take on virtue ethics that will be of special value not only to medical students but to clinicians at every career stage."

    Matthew K. Wynia, Director, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, and Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado, USA

    "In addressing values, Professor Bedzow has moved the discussion and the teaching of ethics in health care from theories and principles to practice. This book offers a toolbox for recognizing and managing conflicting ideas in medical ethics in order to achieve practical, patient focused solutions. In that regard, as well as others, it is highly innovative and critically important."

    T. Forcht Dagi, Distinguished Scholar and Professor, The School of Medicine, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland

    "Dr Bedzow has identified one of the biggest challenges in clinical ethics education: narrowing the gap between theoretical and practical. This outstanding and thoughtful text empowers students and clinicians to fully understand, embrace, and practice their values, ultimately optimizing the care of patients in difficult ethical situations."

    Megan K. Applewhite, John A. Balint, MD, Chair and Interim Director, Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College, USA

    "Bedzow’s innovative approach goes beyond traditional medical ethics to the personhood of patient and physician and the values of their relationship. He teaches not only moral decision-making but also strategies for effective moral action – essential skills for all healthcare professionals."

    Elizabeth A. Rider, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Lead, USA

    "Bedzow’s book is a valuable resource for both medical students and educators. Clinically-relevant cases prepare students to communicate effectively and ethically when faced with challenging situations. It bridges the gap between traditional bioethics and communication programs. I highly recommend it!"

    Heidi Waldron, Medical Educator and Curriculum Designer, School of Medicine Fremantle, The University of Notre Dame, Australia

    "By offering strategies for acting appropriately under complex circumstances, this short text provides a promising method to augment conventional approaches to teaching ethics and professionalism to medical students so they will be better prepared for the realities of clinical practice."

    Jeremy Sugarman, Harvey M. Meyerhoff Professor of Bioethics and Medicine, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, USA

    "I highly recommend this book as a guide for all physicians as they seek to remain true to the Hippocratic Oath throughout their professional lives. Dr Bedzow is a highly skilled and professional guide through the maze of ethical challenges we encounter."

    James Block, Former President and Chief Executive Officer of Johns Hopkins Health System and the Johns Hopkins Hospital