Running head: health care

In the field of health care, the different principles of bioethics play an important role in order to address issues that might arise during the process of treatment for the patients.

Bioethics serves as a guideline that health care professionals refer to in accomplishing their responsibilities. However, there are cases wherein these principles come in conflict with each other.

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This kind of situation is greatly exemplified by the principles of autonomy and beneficence, which could be seen in the cases that will be discuss in this paper.

In this scenario, therapeutic privilege should be applied in order to protect the welfare of the patient. As the doctor, I would answer the question of my patient regarding her dead relatives in this manner, “Your children are alright. Just calm down and think of your welfare.” By doing so, I know that I will not be truthful to my patient but this is necessary in order to save her life.

Based upon the principle of beneficence, a health care professional should give utmost benefit to the patient and prevent any reason to harm them (McCormick and Min, 1998). As such, it is only justifiable that the therapeutic privilege is implemented.

In this second case, I will approach the patient to convince her and even do the necessary action to force her to climb down of the window ledge. Despite her refusal to do so, I will still proceed in making her climb inside of the room because not doing so would be detrimental to her health, which could even cause her death.

The principle of autonomy states that rational agents should be involved in the decision-making process involve in health care (McCormick and Min, 1998).

However, in this situation, it seems like the patient is in a state of emotional distress wherein she cannot think rationally. Being the case, this only goes to show that the principle of beneficence carries more weight than the principle of autonomy.

Case 3

The last case regarding the elderly patient also shows that the principle of beneficence is more important than the principle of autonomy. The bed rails of this patient should be put up despite of his wishes against it.

Since he is already elderly, it would be dangerous for him to not have the bed rails up because he might fall during his sleep. Moreover, elderly patients are usually irritable and do not give much attention to the logical consequences of their decisions and actions, which only means that beneficence is more important than autonomy in this situation (McCormick and Min, 1998).


McCormick, T.R., and Min, D. (1998). Principles of Bioethics. Retrieved August 1, 2009, from