Research Workshop: "Medical Ethics: Fundamentals, Principles and Applications"

Irene Spinello (UCLA)

Friday, April 26th, 2024 (4:10-6:00 PM) Fisher Science (53) Room 286


Sir William Osler, the father of Modern Medicine, wisely said: Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. To navigate through this difficult terrain and find the right path, one must be equipped with a professional compass of right and wrong and a moral compass of good and bad. The principles of Medical Ethics provide healthcare professionals just with such compass.

The talk will review the Schools of Medicine in a historical context, the birth of Healing Arts, and a review of the clinical, spiritual and philosophical pillars of Medical Ethics. We will study the 7 main principles with their applications, pros and cons and how they affect our professional and legal framework. We will review applications of those principles to certain medical dilemmas like passive and active euthanasia, the concept of double effect, the fear of litigation, and will examine their effects on patient care. We will conclude by focusing on the ethical conflicts of rationing during a disaster using the example of the events during the hurricane Katrina.

Through our determination towards patient-focused care, the ethical applications of modern medicine, and upholding the philosophical pillars that lay the foundation for this practice, we can face the future of medicine while firmly resting on the shoulders of giants.


Irene Spinello is an Associate Clinical Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine / UCLA and Medical Director of the ICU at Twin Cities Community Hospital.

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