CODE OF ETHICS FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS


 – May 2020


Profound respect for the life and inherent dignity of every human being has always been at the heart of medicine, but that is changing. The law, society, and medicine now endorse morally objectionable medical procedures, forms of under-treatment that pose serious threats to vulnerable patients, and even the direct killing of certain people. This is corroding the values that define the medical professions and undermining public trust in them.

Sadly, many healthcare providers have been influenced by the culture of death which has tainted our healthcare system. Some aspects of the culture of death are obvious, but others are disguised, subtle, and confusing.

HALO is composing a “Code of Ethics” as a guide for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers who desire to provide the best medical care to every patient without bias and to protect those committed to their care from harm and injustice.

We invite you to send your questions about medical ethics and to propose issues that should be addressed to feedback@halovoice.org. Your input will help HALO articulate timeless medical ethics in a manner that meets the needs of healthcare providers today.

Below are five examples of ethical issues we believe are crucially important.

  1. It is the profound obligation and highest privilege of healthcare providers to treat and care for each patient to the best of their ability. Adequate consultation, therefore, is required when there is doubt concerning the morality of some procedure and/or when a procedure involves serious consequences.
  2. An action or omission intended to cause or facilitate a human being’s death is contrary to the healthcare provider’s role as healer and/or caregiver. Thus, healthcare providers must refuse to participate in any form of abortion, euthanasia, or assisted suicide.
  3. The failure to provide nutrition and hydration and other ordinary means of preserving life, when the omission will cause or hasten death, is equivalent to euthanasia.
  4. All human beings share a common dignity from the first moment of their creation. Therefore, a human life, at any stage of development or age, must never be used as a subject for experimentation without their free and fully informed consent.
  5. Every person has the right and the duty to prepare for the moment of death by setting in order both temporal and spiritual affairs. Therefore, unless a patient who may die soon is well-prepared for death, it is the physician’s duty to inform, or have another responsible person inform, the patient of his or her critical condition.
In addition to questions and proposals for more ethical issues to address, please feel free to suggest improvements in the wording of these principles. Again, HALO’s email address is feedback@halovoice.org.  Thank you!

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