The next principle that we would
think about is non-maleficence.
So, people are familiar with the Hippocratic
oath, you know, first do no harm.
So this is a prima facie obligation
of everyone, meaning on first phase
this is something we ought to,
you know, show to everyone.
We don't want to
harm another person.
And that's important because it recognizes
the vulnerability of the human condition.
All of us are
vulnerable to harm.
You know, the philosopher
Hobbes would say
"Without the idea of not harming another
person, we couldn't have societies.
Otherwise, you know, life would be nasty, brutish, and
short because everyone would be harming each other.
So, we have to have a first understanding
that we should not harm another person."
And that also means that we should intentionally
refrain from actions that cause wrong or harm.
And there's a distinction here between
the definition of wrong and harm.
So wronging is violating
So a person has certain rights that we might as a society
agree on that each person has these fundamental rights.
If we violate those, that's a way we're
causing harm to them but we call it wronging.
There is also harming. So, an adverse
effect on someone's interests.
So causing them pain, causing
them physical discomfort.
That's an actual harm
to their well-being.
Another important element for
non-maleficence is the issue of negligence.
So, especially in medical practice, nursing practice,
we have to show due care towards our patients.
So if we sort of just, you know,
don't follow standard of care,
if we have an absence of that due
care we are actually harming people.
We learned the practice of medicine,
learned the practice of nursing,
know how to be a clinician
based on our training,
and we first of all don't want to intentionally
impose risk of harm that are unreasonable.
We don't want to be reckless
in terms of, you know,
anything goes if the patient
want to we just do it.
You know, part of this is
knowing when to say no, no.
We think if we follow this course of action, it will be
harmful to you and our core principle is first do no harm.
It also means that you should
have known better, you know.
So if there are situations where you didn't
know, you know, but you should have known,
you know you should have had the
training, you should have had
the medical knowledge to know that this could
be risky or too greater risk to undertake.
If you carelessly just follow through on the
action, that is an element of being maleficent.
And then lastly, you know, not following
professional standards of care.
So, generally in most societies, most
states or cultures have licensing bodies
and they established the standards
of care for each profession.
So when you're a health professional, you
have to follow the standards of care.
If you don't do that, you're negligent in
fulfilling your responsibilities as the clinician.