Deliberating Dental Ethics - Bordering on Legitimacy of Beneficence and Non-Maleficence
Beneficence means doing only good and by definition, it is as an act of charity, mercy and kindness with a strong connotation of doing good to others including moral obligation. All health care professionals like us have the logically moral imperative of doing things in a rightful manner. In the context of the doctor-patient relationship, the professional is obligated to, always and without exception, favour the well-being and interest of the patient as per ethical, medico-legal considerations and the law. Non-maleficence, by definition means non-harming or inflicting the least harm possible to reach a beneficial outcome to the patient. Beneficence along with non-maleficence is two of the many fundamental and foundational ethics of health care. An understanding of these two foundational ethics of care compels the individual health professional to consider these as an integral part of his work as a calling to the high standards of professionalism as a moral imperative, the one that advocates for high standards and strives for the greater good.