Clinical bioethics was born out of the need to introduce different ethical values involved in the relationships among physician, patient and health institutions which are outside the technical-scientific framework of routine medical practice. Physicians tend to adopt the norms and rules provided for in the Medical Ethics Code to guide the exercising of their professional practice. However, it has recently become challenging to apply these norms to all conduct since some issues faced in the professional practice are simply not provided for by such norms. Ethical consideration in practice drawing solely on the medical ethics code in Brazil has proved insufficient, both in the context of universal issues such as organ transplants, start and end-of-life, as well as in addressing specific issues such as allocation of funds for health. Clinical bioethics employs clinical cases and situations as an instrument for discussion. These discussions entail analysis of not only the facts and circumstances surrounding each case, but also the values which lead to patients, health teams and institutions opting to recommend, accept or refuse a given conduct.
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