Ethical thinking in medical practices entails many concepts that ensure that patients receive the best treatment since they have the right to be treated in the correct manner. I would coach and guide the resident by teaching and explaining the four principles of biomedical ethics which would guide her to carry out her medical practices in an ethical manner. These principles are:

  1. Respect for autonomy.-This involves giving the patient the right to choose or refuse the treatment.
  2. Beneficence-A medical practitioner should act in the best interests of his/her patient. Balancing of benefits of treatment against the risks and costs should be considered.
  3. Non-maleficence – All treatments involved should not harm a patient even if it’s minimal.
  4. Justice-This relates to fairness and equality in distributing resources and deciding who gets what treatment (Beauchamp & Childress, 1994).

I would also ask the resident to treat the patient with dignity, be honest and truthful when informing patients about their conditions or the type of treatment they are going to receive. This includes when giving them medicine prescriptions. The above principles will help the resident to understand conflicts that occur during healthcare practices and, therefore, be able to solve them and be able to handle the situations.

Physicians/residents cross the lines when practicing defensively when the following happens:

  1. Request from the patient to be assisted suicide.-In many cases may physicians cross the lines when they help a patient to willingly commit suicide. This usually occurs when a patient feels that she/he is suffering a lot and feels that she/he might fail to recover and eventually die and, therefore, requests physicians to help him commit suicide. Most patients choose to die rather than waste the resources that could be used for other important issues. According to ethics, religious and secular traditions prohibit suicide or assisted suicide and therefore physicians should not help the patient to commit suicide.


Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (1994). Principles oof Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.


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