Bioethics Definitions

Autonomy: "personal rule of the self that is free from both controlling interferences by others and from personal limitations that prevent meaningful choice" (Pantilat 2008).

Non-maleficence: Not intending to cause harm to others -- 'to do no harm' according to Hippocratic principles

Beneficence: "Beneficence is action that is done for the benefit of others. Beneficent actions can be taken to help prevent or remove harms or to simply improve the situation of others" (Pantilat 2008).

Fidelity: Being faithful to the commitment made to one's professional ethics and to the patient under care

Reparation: Making someone 'whole' again, after an injury has been done, or making amends in a way to specifically address the harms that were done by the perpetrator's wrong

Palliative care: Care focused upon relieving the pain of patients suffering from serious illnesses, versus curing them

Meta-ethics: The branch of ethics that strives to understand the principles behind ethical systems, versus practical questions

Normative ethics: The study of ethics in practice

Justice: Treating patients fairly and equitably, regardless of who they are (including their ability to pay, race or ethnicity, gender, age, etcetera).

Falsification: According to Popper, for a statement to be considered scientific truth, it must be falsifiable (able to be proven false)

Fabrication: Falsifying data or other evidence for nefarious purposes such as self-enrichment

Ethics: Formal systems by which individuals make decisions about right and wrong

Morality: The ideas about right and wrong established by consensus over time with in a society

Virtue ethics: Ethics that focuses upon building a good character to generate good actions

Deontological: Ethical worldview that focuses upon obeying timeless principles applicable to all occasions

Utilitarianism: Ethical system that focuses in doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people

Consequentialism: Ethical system that focuses on the consequences of actions, versus their intentions

Advanced directive: A medical directive issued detailing what should be done if the person is no longer capable of making decisions for him or herself

Medical power of attorney: "a document, signed by a competent adult, i.e., "principal," designating a person that the principal trusts to make health care decisions on the principal's behalf should the principal be unable to make such decisions. The individual chosen to act on the principal's behalf is referred to as an agent" (Medical power of attorney, 1999, Texas Medical Association)

Ethical egoism: The idea that the ethical agent's first responsibility is to act in his or her own self-interest

Ethical altruism: The idea that people have a moral obligation to help others

Pluripotent: "Pluripotent cells can give rise to all of the cell types that make up the body; embryonic stem cells are considered pluripotent" (What is the difference between totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent, 2013, NY State stem cell science).

Totipotent: "Totipotent cells can form all the cell types in a body, plus the extraembryonic, or placental, cells" (What is the difference between totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent, 2013, NY State stem cell science).

Therapeutic cloning: Cloning specific cells to heal patients and replace damaged cells or organs, not to create whole, new human (or animal) entities

Applied ethics: Specific, philosophical debates such as abortion or euthanasia to which ethical systems may be applied (Ethics, 2013, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Euthanasia: intentionally ending someone's life, usually for medical reasons (such as to prevent suffering).

Q2. Describe the various types of euthanasia:

Active euthanasia: Deliberately ending someone's life through the administration of drugs or other means

Voluntary euthanasia: The patient 'actively' participates in the act of euthanasia

Non-voluntary euthanasia: Euthanasia when the patient cannot explicitly consent to the action

Q3. Describe the different definitions of death. Which do you support and why?

"The most traditional way to tell if someone is dead has been to see if their heart is beating and if their lungs are breathing," but this is problematic given that many patients continue to live with artificial assistance to help their lungs and heart continue to function (Cline 2013). Brain death means a person can…