Essays on Similarities between the Fields of Healthcare Ethics and Business Ethics Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Similarities between the Fields of Healthcare Ethics and Business Ethics' is a perfect example of a business case study. By definition, ethics refers to the set of codes of conduct acceptable as right and do not harm sentient creatures. As such, healthcare ethics refers to a general system of moral principles applied in healthcare centers. As a scholarly discipline, the field of healthcare ethics entails the general application of principles and values as well as work on its history of ethics. Furthermore, it encompasses philosophy, theology, and sociology within the corridors of healthcare centers (Armstrong, 2007).

On the other hand, business ethics refers to a form of applied principles and codes that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical misconducts that may arise in a business environment. By a large extend, it encompasses individual behavior, conducting business, and the entire organization (Bevan, 2008). Contrary to business ethics, healthcare ethics are more precise, strict, and well organized as they deal with human life. Therefore, there is a clear distinction between the two disciplines and thus a great difference. Healthcare ethics puts more emphasis on relationships, collaborative care, and upholding human dignity.

Although there is no much difference between medical ethics and healthcare ethics, the later focus much on caring for the patient by examining the relationship between nurses, caregivers, and patients. The former focuses mostly on curing a patient. Healthcare ethics reflect at the obligation to respect the patient’ s rights as stipulated in the Human Rights Act and respect human dignity as well. The underlying principles behind healthcare ethics include concerns such as beneficence and justice. For example, a concern aimed at promoting justice and beneficence may be expressed in traditional healthcare ethics by the exercise of paternalism.

This refers to a situation where the health professional has the responsibility of making decisions based upon a perspective of acting according to the best interests of the patient (Biller-Andorno, et al. 2004). A common framework that is very much applicable and efficient in the analysis of healthcare ethics is the "four principles". This approach recognizes four basic moral principles, which individual should not judge or weigh against each of these principles, with attention given to the scope of their application (Biller-Andorno, et al.

2004). Respect for autonomy – this implies that patients enjoy the right to accept or refuse medication and care. Beneficence – healthcare professionals should act in accordance with the patient’ s best interest. Non-maleficence – this code of ethics requires healthcare practitioners not to do any harm in the very first place. Justice, fairness, and equality– this encompasses the distribution of healthcare services in a free, fair, and just manner. That is, without any bias or favor. Other codes of practice in healthcare ethics include the following; Respect for persons – this demands that the healthcare practitioner and the patient have the right to respect and dignity. Truthfulness and honesty – based on the concept of informed consent, this healthcare ethic indicates that the patient should be informed of all the procedures necessary. While these healthcare ethics are great, it is clear that they need more concern and keen observation than business ethics.

This is because most organizations may act in unscrupulous business activities to maximize their profits without looking into good business ethics observation. However, most business organizations understand that good business ethics are crucial for every business to succeed.

However, putting money first is the deciding factor. Organizations are in the rush to make more money while breaking business ethical laws. Consequently, many major global brands experience fines in billions of money for failing to adhere to business ethics laws. With the discipline of healthcare, any non-adherence to ethics may result in loss of lives or worsening the situation of a patient.


Armstrong, A. (2007). Nursing Ethics: A Virtue-Based Approach. Palgrave Macmillan

Bertram, B. (2003). The moral development of health care professionals: rational

decision-making in health care ethics. Westport, Conn.: Praeger,

Bevan, D. (2008).Philosophy: A Grounded Theory Approach and the Emergence of Convenient

and Inconvenient Ethics. Cutting Edge Issues in Business Ethics M. Painter-Morland and P. Werhane. Boston, Springer. 24: 131–152

Biller-Andorno N., et al. (2004).Ethics, EBM, and hospital management.Journal of Medical


Campbell, H. (2006). Just planning - The art of situated ethical judgment. Journal Of Planning

Education and Research 26(1): 92-106.

Cory, J. (2004). Activist Business Ethics. Boston: Springer

Duska, R. (2007). Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics. Boston: Springer

Frederic, R. E. (2002). A Companion to Business Ethics. Massachusetts: Blackwell

Godkin D. and Markwell H. (2003).The Duty to Care of Healthcare Professionals: Ethical

Issues and Guidelines for Policy Development. Submitted to SARS Expert Panel Secretariat; 2003

John R. Williams (2005). Medical ethics ;manual. Fernesy-Voltaire, France, World Meidcal

Association, 2005

Lakhan S., et al., (2009). Time for a unified approach to medical

ethics. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 4 (3): 13.

Mattick K, & Bligh J. (2006). Teaching and assessing medical ethics: where are we now?J Med

Ethics. Mar;32(3):181-185.

Salinger, L. M., Ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of White Collar Corporate Crime.California, Sage Valiathan MS. (2006).Ethical issues in the practice of medicine.Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci.


Watson T.J (2003). Ethical Choice in Managerial Work: The Scope for Managerial Choices in an

Ethically Irrational World, Human Relations, 56(2): 167–85.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us