Security and the Role of New Technologies and Innovation in Medical Ethics

Security and the Role of New Technologies and Innovation in Medical Ethics

Michał Chojnacki (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Poland) and Anita Wójcik (Military Clinical Hospital No. 10 in Bydgoszcz, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2237-9.ch064
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Modern medicine has never before experienced such a rapid development of what is observed at the turn of the century. New opportunities bring new challenges that both - medical staff and patients - will have to face. The paper examines the role and safety issues new medical technologies in the light of respect for patients' rights and ethical dilemmas. For a better delineation of the phenomenon, presented the key moments of the origins and development of medical innovation. Based on observations and the current direction of the health sector were presented significant areas where abuse can occur at the level of ethical issues. Discussions have been subjected to actions considered modern medicine, in the light of security and respect for the patients' rights.
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The level of advancement of medical technology that is given to us to observe at the present time, has never in the history of man did not give so many opportunities to take care of your health. The best reflection of the role of new medical technologies which can be relied upon to validate that in reality it translates to human health is the average life expectancy observed in recent years compared to the length of life of people living even a hundred years ago. According to data from the World Bank, life expectancy has never grown as fast as in the twentieth century, where the average increase was almost 30 years (World Bank Data, 2015).

Figure 1.

World average life expectance 1960-2012

Source: World Bank Database, 2015

Moreover, in addition to a significant prolongation of the years of life of a man living in the twentieth century, which we consider as a quantitative variable, there was also a significant change in the quality issues. The indicators suggested by the WHO, the quality of life or the expected years of healthy life years (DALY, QALY) show that the longer we look forward to health allows us to meet our basic social functions previously peeled and pursue goals.

In order to maintain an objective position, it is worth to mention that the erroneous assumption seems to be that the process of extending human life is determined only by the development of new technologies for their subsequent use in the population. Analysis of scientific reports concerning the determinants of health coming from the twentieth century, pointing on the contrary, it is a personal concern for their own health, as reflected in health-oriented lifestyle of the majority is a determining factor in the health of the population and its future forecasting (Lalonde, 1948). A closer look at the model presented by the Canadian Minister of Health, reveals that the health care system - including the level of development and implementation of new medical technologies - plays only an estimated 10% in the whole of the determinants of health.

Worth noticing is the fact that in spite of the role and importance of medical technology for the overall health of the patient as a secondary issue against the fundamental role of personal health decisions taken by the population, the number of moral dilemmas, ethical issues and social movements associated with the possibilities that are offered by modern medicine, seems to be very disproportionate.

The search for answers to explain this phenomenon, why medical technologies arouse so much controversy, must lead multi-perspective to take position. Concern for the health accompanied since the dawn of mankind, considering the safety of life of the individual or the population as an animal instinct. During the development of culture and socialization process of nations and nationalities, different approaches can be seen to favor to innovative medical solutions.

These considerations may lead the reader to the conclusion that there is no single objective moral principles and a range of ethical attitudes directory considered valid in the light of the impact and role of gradation of new technologies in the life and health of patients. Reference to both the etiology of morality and ethics word points out that they are not identical, and pay attention to the separate issues. The first of these - morality - pointing to the prevailing and binding system of normative values adopted by society (Ronco, 2004). Ethics claims to be a science which goal is to explore the merits, the origin and the meaning of moral precepts introduced, focusing more on the nature of the entity that the above morality strives to comply with or is its subject (Josko, 2014).

The distinction and vaguely indicate the existence of multiple systems moral and ethical evaluation, based on different cultural or historical factors, is somewhat in response to a variety of reactions to the newly created opportunities for medicine and technology, which are in the range of modern medicine.

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