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Ethical Consideration and Cultural Awareness and in Medical Practice


An ethically sensitive orientation in medical and nursing practice is the result of ethical norms established in the medical community. Medicine, as an institution that has developed over many centuries, must certainly evolve along with changing cultural norms. The link between culture and ethics is undeniable, and therefore therapies must take these new ethics into account. Considering that tolerance, the desire to overcome cultural barriers, is at the center of modern ethical debate, it is an approach that should accompany a doctor’s work. In modern medicine and nursing practice, four basic ethical principles currently dominate autonomy, non-interference, benefit, fairness, and no harm. Autonomy, as the patient’s right to independently make decisions about their fate, seems to be the most important principle here in the context of the topic (Saad, 2018).

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Ethical issues such as confidentiality or the need to act without the knowledge of superiors can arise in medical practice. However, nursing education and training should be improved and trained in emergency decision-making in order to alleviate possible future ethical dilemmas. The patient’s right is based on the attitude by which they are responsible for their decisions precisely because their decisions are the result of established cultural norms or religious beliefs. The upheavals of the past two years have changed the situation somewhat, as more and more researchers talk about “relative autonomy” as a principle of the medical approach (Gomez-Virseda et al., 2021). However, there is hope that the principles of human dignity and cultural self-sufficiency will determine the ethical principles of medicine in the future.

Cultural Awareness

It turns out that the very autonomy of the patient is supported by the belief of humanity in the right to belong to their culture. Respect for the beliefs of various people, regardless of their stage of development, distinguishes the modern approach to medicine. Autonomy has come a long way toward becoming the dominant principle in medicine, which is associated with the increased value of human health and life in the modern world.

Simultaneously with the rise of the autonomic principle, interest and respect for the cultures of third world countries grew, and tolerance for citizens in forced immigration increased. One can say that the cultural situation of postcolonialism here predetermined the changes that affected medicine. The guiding principle of this new cultural era is the right of the oppressed people to a voice and to their own decisions, including medical intervention.

However, at the same time, one must take into account the inevitable ethical complexities and conflicts of moral interests that full cultural inclusion entails. Each of these cases is a separate complex problem that has to be solved with great care. The doctor’s time is invaluable, and it is easy to conclude that a large amount of mental strength is spent on adapting to an alien cultural norm. One can recall a sufficient number of medical cases when patients refused treatment, pain relief, or surgery due to the fact that their culture or religion does not allow them (Stempsey, 2021). The autonomic principle forces doctors to accept such decisions or seek to find a way out, influence the patient’s family or convince him on their own. In any case, each such case is especially stressful for the doctor, who realizes that they are not able to alleviate someone’s suffering. On the other hand, awareness of human dignity and the right to choose logically seems more valuable.

Overall, it can be said that a culturally inclusive approach based on respect and value for the individual human unit will remain relevant for a long time to come. At the moment, in the scientific field of bioethics, such cultural and medical programs as an Islam-oriented approach to patient treatment are being developed (Chamsi-Pasha et al., 2019). This suggests the fact that the combination of cultural, ethical, and medical approaches is currently possible if a sufficient number of specialists are involved in it. Thus, to improve the culture-oriented approach, it is required to spread knowledge about this methodology, to increase cultural sensitivity and tolerance in the workplace.


Chamsi-Pasha, H., & Albar, M. A. (2019). Principles of Islamic medical ethics. Journal of the British Islamic Association, 1(1). Web.

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Gómez-Vírseda, C., Usanos, R.A. (2021). Relational autonomy: Lessons from COVID-19 and twentieth-century philosophy. Medical Health Care and Philosophy. Web.

Saad, T.C. (2018). The history of autonomy in medicine from antiquity to principlism. Medical Health Care and Philosophy 21, 125–137. and beyond. Psychological Services, 15(2), 191–199. Web.

Stempsey, W. E. (2021). Homo religiosus: The soul of bioethics. The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine 46(2), pp. 238–253. Web.

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