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Principles of Bioethics (University of Washington)
Bioethics

This is an education medical ethics site by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine. It focuses on topics, cases, and principles focused on bioethics. This is the best free resource online recommended by all our staff. We believe it is superior to Doing Right by Hebert.

The Principles of Bioethics, an educational medical ethics site by the Department of Bioethics & Humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine, offers invaluable resources to pre-med students preparing for their future roles as physicians. Authored by Thomas R. McCormick, D.Min., Senior Lecturer Emeritus, the site focuses on bioethics topics, cases, and principles, providing a comprehensive and accessible resource for aspiring medical professionals.

As future physicians, pre-med students must understand and apply ethical principles in their practice. The Principles of Bioethics offers guidance on four major principles of health care ethics, as outlined by Beauchamp and Childress (2008): respect for autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice. By familiarizing themselves with these principles, students can develop a strong foundation for ethical decision-making in complex clinical situations.

The site explains how these principles can be applied to specific cases through a process of weighing and balancing competing duties. This approach helps students grasp the nuances of ethical decision-making, ensuring they consider the unique circumstances of each case and respect patients' diverse values.

Furthermore, understanding the history and development of medical ethics, from Hippocrates to contemporary philosophers, allows pre-med students to appreciate the evolution and significance of ethical principles in medicine. This knowledge will enable them to become more compassionate, responsible, and ethically-minded physicians.

In summary, the Principles of Bioethics offered by the University of Washington School of Medicine is an essential resource for pre-med students, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate ethical dilemmas and make sound, morally-informed decisions in their future medical practice.

Better Now: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health by Dr. Danielle Martin
Health care issues

Dr. Danielle Martin tells the story of her grandfather, Jacques Elie Shilton, a hard-working Egyptian immigrant who, months after arriving in Montreal with 10 family members, suffered a devastating heart attack.

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Vanessa's Law and Mandatory Reporting
Health care issues

Vanessa's Law, or the Protecting Canadians from Unsafe Drugs Act, is a critical piece of legislation that aims to enhance patient safety and improve Health Canada's oversight of therapeutic products. It was enacted in 2014 in response to the tragic death of 15-year-old Vanessa Young, who suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia after taking the prescribed medication cisapride (Prepulsid®). The law seeks to bolster post-market safety information collection, take appropriate action when serious health risks are identified, and promote transparency in the oversight of therapeutic products.

For premed students preparing to become future physicians, understanding Vanessa's Law and its mandatory reporting requirements is essential. The law empowers Health Canada to require information, tests, or studies, enforce label changes or package modifications, recall unsafe therapeutic products, disclose information in certain circumstances, and impose stringent measures for noncompliance.

Effective December 16th, 2019, health care institutions are required to report serious adverse drug reactions (ADRs) and medical device incidents (MDIs) under the law. This mandatory reporting helps to identify emerging safety issues, assess the harm versus benefit of drugs and medical devices, and improve patient outcomes and public health by sharing learnings through warnings, advisories, and risk mitigation measures.

Premed students can benefit from understanding the importance of Vanessa's Law in promoting patient safety, strengthening the healthcare system's knowledge base, and driving continuous improvement in the medical field. By familiarizing themselves with this legislation, future physicians will be better equipped to comply with mandatory reporting requirements and contribute to a safer healthcare environment.

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