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Applying ethical frameworks

In this step, learn about using ethical frameworks and how we can use them to help analyse and made decisions about scarcity of resources situations.

When you are faced with a challenging ethical situation in clinical practice, it is advisable to use an established framework to help you analyse the case.

Many ethical frameworks have been published in the medical ethics literature. In this presentation, produced by KCL medical student Alice Hully, we draw on two frameworks that might contribute to the analysis of complex ethical situations, like the ‘scarcity of gloves’ scenario described in the previous step.

One is the traditional framework that is taught in most medical schools – autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-malificence1 – and the second is an ethical framework developed specifically for electives – humility, introspection, solidarity and justice2.

We’ve also created a PDF reference sheet illustrating both ethical frameworks.

1 Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2012). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford University Press.
2 Pinto, A. D., & Upshur R. E. (2009). Global Health Ethics for Students. Developing World Bioethics; 9:1-10

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Preparing for an International Health Elective: Exploring Global Health, Ethics and Safety

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