What are the Basic Principles of
Medical Ethics?

Bioethicists often refer to the four basic principles of health care ethics when evaluating the merits and difficulties of medical procedures.  Ideally, for a medical practice to be considered "ethical", it must respect all four of these principles: autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence.  The use of reproductive technology raises questions in each of these areas.

          Requires that the patient have autonomy of thought, intention, and action when making decisions regarding health care
          procedures.  Therefore, the decision-making process must be free of coercion or coaxing.  In order for a patient to
          make a fully informed decision, she/he must understand all risks and benefits of the procedure and the likelihood of
          success.  Because ARTs are highly technical and may involve high emotions, it is difficult to expect patients to be
          operating under fully-informed consent.