Ethics: Modern Medicine Essay

1206 Words Dec 3rd, 2009 5 Pages
You are a general practitioner and a mother comes into your office with a child who is complaining of flu-like symptoms. Upon entering the room you ask the boy to remove his shirt and you notice a pattern of very distinct bruises on the boy’s torso. You ask the mother where the bruises came from and she tells you that they are from a procedure she performed on him known as “cao gio” which is also known as “coining”. The procedure involves rubbing warm oils or gels on a person’s skin with a coin or other flat metal object. The mother explains that cao gio is used to raise out bad blood, and improve circulation and healing. When you touch the boy’s back with your stethoscope, he winces in pain from the bruises. You debate
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However the explanations given by the mother portrays that her action was out of love for her son. Her intentions were good. This would get her a nod from Fletcher’s thoughts on Agape love. Enshrined in this is the goodwill.
The mother did not intend to harm her child. She was only applying her cultural beliefs and practices. She went through the procedure with the intention of improving the health of her son.
The golden rule suggests that we do unto others what we would have them do unto us. The boy certainly must have suffered pains during the rubbing of the coin on the skin. Could the mother have overlooked this? Would she allow herself to be subjected to such an ordeal? Her strong belief in the practice would make go through this and therefore give her nod to the golden rule. Moreover, if the physician had found himself in place of the woman under the circumstance in which she applied the treatment, would he have approved of himself being reported? There again, we say the woman will pass the golden rule test.
Universalism: Would other people in the community act the same way given the situation above?
The ecology features implicit norms, predominant values, established routines, underlying decision premises and pressures for obedience and loyalty. This woman identifies strongly with the community and has absorbed its standards as her own.

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