An Ethical Milepost


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "New Warsaw Express"

Polish doctors have a new ethics code, but this week's national congress decided not to include several controversial elements of a draft proposed by their professional organisation's ethics commission, and added others that ban human cloning and regulate reporting of suspected malpractice cases. The rejected proposals would have, among others, limited doctors' rights to order pre-natal tests if they were deemed too risky for the foetus.
"Some of these [rejected] proposals would exclude the ethical performance of commonly accepted and legal procedures," said former Health Minister Marek Balicki.
Doctors added several controversial chapters to their new ethics code, however. One forbids doctors to participate in cloning procedures, regardless of their purpose.
Several doctors have criticised the provision, saying that it will at least theoretically keep doctors from cloning cells for transplants.
Konstanty Radziwill, chairman of the Supreme Board of Medical Doctors (NIL), said that the ban would not apply to procedures involving groups of cells or organs.
In accordance with the new code, doctors will now have the obligation to report cases of suspected malpractice, though first to the doctor responsible and only then to a medical board. Patients' groups had protested against an earlier proposal that would have only forbidden doctors to discredit one another publicly.

SIMON CYGIELSKI

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