College and university students that are pursuing biology or applied science programs are required to write essays and papers on bioethics topics. But, what is bioethics? Well, bioethics is an interdisciplinary approach to addressing moral dilemmas and quandaries that arise from the study of medical science and applied biology.
Most bioethical topics involve the application of religious values, philosophical principles, and societal mores. They also involve human judgment when it comes to deciding on the life and death of humans, medical treatment, and health, as well as, how humans relate with living organisms, and environmental issues.
What Makes Great Bioethics Topics?
Based on the above bioethics definition, students can choose many topics to write about. However, not every topic is ideal for every student. As such, learners should know what makes great topics for their papers or essays. Here are some of the things that make great bioethics paper topics prepered by our best thesis writers.
- Interesting to the students because they will work with them and spend time reading about them.
- Related to the latest and current topics to make the final work publishable.
- Different from what has already been published because students should say something unique and new to have their papers published.
It’s also important to ensure that the chosen topics address the current bioethical issues. Perhaps, what makes selecting a topic for research difficult is determining what issues in bioethics are worth researching and writing about. So, what are bioethical issues?
4 Principles of Bioethics that are Worth Writing About
Students can write papers on any of the four principles of bioethics. These are:
- Principle of respect for autonomy
- Principle of non-maleficence
- Principle of justice
- Principle of beneficence
Medical practices are considered ethical if they respect these principles. Therefore, bioethics research paper topics should be selected and analyzed with these principles in mind. Due to the broad nature of bioethics as a study field, topics in this research area can be classified into the following categories.
Physicians are trained and experienced professionals that understand the meaning of professionalism. Here are examples of bioethical issues that touch on this profession.
- Altruism – Physicians are obliged to attend to their patients’ best interests instead of self-interest.
- Accountability – Physicians should be accountable to patients, profession, and society on public health issues.
- Excellence – Physicians are obliged to commit to life-long learning.
- Duty – Physicians should be responsive and available on call and commit to serving within the community and profession.
- Integrity and Honor – A physician should commit to being truthful, straightforward, and fair in their professional and interactions with their patients.
The list of bioethics topics that touch on the professionalism of physicians can be longer than this. But learners should choose topics that enable them to explore what they find interesting and the latest.
Principle of Non-Maleficence Topics
According to the principle of non-maleficence, physicians should not intentionally inflict injury or harm to patients, either via acts of omission or commissions. Here are some of the most controversial bioethical topics in this category:
- Discuss the nature of an act concerning the double effect principle
- Explain the distinction between the means and effects in bioethics
- Explain the proportionality between good and bad effect
- The agent’s intention- How can an agent intend to achieve good effect even though it’s foreseen?
- Withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment- Which one is lesser or greater harm for self?
Readers can apply different criteria to write papers on bioethics research topics. Nevertheless, each of them requires extensive research and consideration of the basic principles of bioethics.
Advance Care Planning Topics
Advance care planning entails helping patients with their decision-making capacity. Some of the most interesting bioethics topics in this category include:
- How can physicians raise advanced care planning issues without scaring their patients?
- How can physicians advise patients if they believe that family members are likely to disagree with their wishes?
- Where and when should physicians start advance care planning?
- Who should physicians approach when it comes to advance care planning?
- What are the differences between advance care planning and advance directives?
This category has some of the most common bioethical issues today especially among patients with chronic conditions.
HIV and AIDS
Physicians face several ethical issues when dealing with individuals that live with HIV and AIDS. Such issues, therefore, can’t miss in a bioethics topics list. They include:
- What should a physician do when a patient refuses to undergo an HIV test?
- When should the HIV status of a patient be reported to the public health department?
- Should protease inhibitors be prescribed to a patient that is unlikely to follow the treatment regimen to the end?
- How can a physician facilitate communication between the members of a family?
- How can a physician deal with prejudice when addressing HIV/AIDS cases?
These bioethics debate topics address sensitive issues that practitioners face almost every day. As such, they require careful research and adherence to the principles of bioethics.
Medical Futility Topics
Medical futility is the intervention that may not yield significant benefits for a patient. Some of the bioethical issues that touch on medical futility include:
- What ethical obligations do physicians have when an intervention is considered futile by a healthcare provider?
- Who decides that treatment should be considered futile?
- What happens when a family or patient requests for an intervention that is considered futile by a healthcare team?
- What’s the difference between rationing and futility?
- What’s the difference between experimental intervention and futile intervention?
Public Health Ethics Topics
Students can write about bioethical issues in healthcare. Some of the topics in this category include:
- When should physicians report a communicable disease to public health authorities?
- Can public health physicians provide medical treatment against the will of a patient?
- What should public health physicians do when a patient refuses to undergo regular preventive health measures?
- What is the fair distribution of health?
- Explain what paternalism is and whose responsibility health is.
These are also great bioethical issues in nursing. They can be used to research and write papers and essays in colleges and universities.
Several bioethical issues topics can be used to understand and address mistakes in this field. They include:
- How do physicians make mistakes?
- Is it an ethical duty for physicians to disclose medical mistakes to patients?
- How can a physician decide to tell their patient about a mistake?
- Can disclosing mistakes undermine the trust a patient has in a physician?
- Does a physician risk facing a malpractice suit if they disclose a mistake?
- What should a physician do if they see their colleague make a mistake?
Interdisciplinary Team Issues Topics
Some of the interdisciplinary team issues that amount to bioethics issues worth studying include:
- How do interdisciplinary teams work?
- Who should be in charge of a team in an operating room?
- What ethical obligations do interdisciplinary team members have when it comes to patient care?
- What is meant by “respectful” views exchange?
- How should members handle disagreements in a multidisciplinary team?
Resource Allocation Topics
Some resource allocation issues form great bioethics essay topics. These include:
- What should guide rationing decisions?
- Are triage decisions guided by ethical criteria?
- Discuss the major macro-allocation concerns
- Should allocation decisions be based on the quality of life judgments?
- Can a “right to healthcare” be ethically qualified?
Spirituality and Medicine Topics
In most cases, a list of bioethical topics will include issues of spirituality and medicine. Examples of topics in this category include:
- How does religiosity affect medicine?
- What should medicine attend to spirituality?
- How should physicians take a spiritual history?
- How should physicians work with the hospital chaplains?
- What’s the role of a physician’s personal belief in a physician-patient relationship?
This is not an exhaustive bioethical issues list. We advise you to take a look at epidemiology topics as well. Students should read, watch, and listen to bioethics news to stay updated on the latest issues in their field that are worth researching and writing about.