Year : 2014  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-65

Ethical Dilemmas in Contemporary Ophthalmic Practice in Nigeria

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Emmanuel Olu Megbelayin
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0189-9171.154609

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Background: Ethics, as a branch of both philosophy and theology, is a systematic study of what is right and wrong with respect to conduct and character. As an intellectual discipline, ethics seeks to provide good reasons for our moral choices. Aim: The aim was to discuss common plausible clinical scenarios that pose ethical questions in typical ophthalmic set-ups in Nigeria and suggest modalities of resolving them. Methods: Involved extensive literature search on ethics and medical jurisprudence. Result: There is hardly an area in medicine that does not have an ethical aspect. For example, there are ethical issues relating to abortion, organ donations, birth control, euthanasia, etc., Ethics in Ophthalmology have not been the focus of scholarly articles particularly in our African environment. Yet there is increasing consciousness of patients' right to self-determination that cuts across all areas of human endeavors. Conclusion: Ethics, and not the law, establishes the ultimate standard for evaluating conduct. Still, there is a moral obligation to obey the law, and thus ethical analyses need to take into account the relevant statutes and court decisions.

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