In Singapore’s multicultural society, a sizable proportion of the population subscribes to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In this article, we discuss the impact this has on medical practice in the context of the four principles of medical ethics. To uphold the principle of autonomy, we propose a non-judgmental approach towards patients who use CAM. Nevertheless, in order to promote health (beneficence) and prevent harm (non-maleficence), the safety profiles of CAM must be studied through systematic research. In addition, the principle of justice is one concerned with the fair distribution of scarce healthcare resources, while granting equal access to healthcare regardless of beliefs. Understanding CAM from an ethical perspective allows for the provision of safe, holistic, and culturally relevant care.
Asian Bioethics Review – Springer Journals
Published: May 29, 2018