Obstetrics is a unique specialty that is characterized by rapidly evolving clinical situations and it is full of ethical dilemmas. And this can be considered by far the most ethically and medico legally challenging branch of medicine. Because according to the Hippocrates oath you have to declare the past, diagnose the present and foretell the future in order to practice medicine in the most ethical manner. And when it come sot dealing with disease doctors have to practice two things, to help or to do no harm. Because if they practice medicine in such a manner then most patients will have a feeling of satisfaction and trust that they can place on the doctors. Because they know the doctors will not try to use them for their benefit.
Ethics in obstetrics practice
The role of obstetricians in practice of medicine in an ethical manner is so complicated because they have to deal with issues like fetal therapy and genetic diagnosis. Which are in itself ethically challenging. And for those involved in the field of obstetrics the practitioner is often dealing with two patients, both inextricably linked and whose interest usually, but not invariably coincide. There is always the common ground that needs to be followed by all practicing doctors no matter what fields of medicine they are involved in. because there are certain rules that are applicable to all patients regardless of the age, problem they come with and the line of treatment that needs to be followed.
There are four basic principles that need to be followed by doctors be it a pediatrician, a high risk pregnancy obstetrician or a surgeon. These include, autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. Autonomy means that the patient has the final say with whatever decision that needs to be made with regard to their health. And this decision should come once the doctor had provided them with all the necessary information that the patient require to come to a decision with regard to risks and benefits an all the various options available to them. Beneficence means that the doctor will always act for the benefit of the patient. Always try to do good and make the patient feel better. Because patients come to you with the hope that you can give them a solution to their problems. And even if you are faced with a problem that you cannot solve then at least they are hoping that you will not end up doing them any harm. And this is what non maleficence stands for. Do no harm to the patient if you can’t do any good. Justice is that you treat all patients in the same manner regardless of their social, cultural and religious backgrounds.Although the rules of ethics have been laid down there are very few instances that we actually see them being put into practice.