One of the most interesting aspects of health law is the topic of bioethics. Bioethics pertains to the ethical dilemmas brought forth by progress in medical research, practices and policies. Many of today’s most widely debated social issues are a product of bioethics, such as abortion, stem cell research, and euthanasia. Although “bioethics” isn’t a term that most people recognize, it’s a huge part of daily life and the future. In today’s world of constant progress it’s important to have a standard of medical conduct that professionals are held to.
When doctor’s are given their licenses, they are required to take the Hippocratic Oath. This oath states that they will do no unnecessary harm to any person. Bioethics helps us determine the qualifications for that unnecessary harm. Consider this: during the second world war the Nazi doctors held no regard for medical ethics and, as a result of this, numerous horrific acts were perpetrated against innocent people. While these experiments were performed to further the understanding of the human body, they caused an obscene amount of “unnecessary harm” and in some cases even killed the participants. We see this again with the experimentation performed in the United States during the 60′s on mental patients who, at the time, didn’t have much legal protection.