In the context of this book, Hunting for Hippocrates by Warren Stucki, the story of Dr.Moe Mathis is described in detail where the novel general relates to the medical profession as well as legal and ethical principles surrounding this profession. This novel is about the story of Dr.Moe Mathis who was a Urologist where he was working with her love Connie Moeth Mathis performed a surgery on Mr. Howard who a father to his love claiming that he was suffering from prostate cancer. Howard died due to complications from this surgery and this eventually to end of the relationship between the doctor and his love. After the post mortem it was discovered that Howard was not suffering from cancer but he died as a result of the complications from surgery and he was not suffering from the purported prostate cancer (Stucki, 2004 p. 12) .
Dr Moe Mathis was therefore sued for both negligence of duty and crime against humanity by causing murder to Howard. He was found guilty and charged for both negligence of the medical profession as well committing murder. He was also charged with conspiracy.Dr Moeth claimed that the partners were jealous of him for claiming that Howard never suffered from the prostate cancer. He was eventually charged for these crimes. It was found that Dr Moeth did not work with professional due care and diligence in conducting the test on cancer or maybe he manipulated the results so that he gets work (Stucki, 2004 p. 28) . It is against the medical professional ethical code of conduct to perform the test carelessly or manipulating the results for; the favor of the medical practitioners because this will put the life of the patient at risk of complications or even death.
According to the professional code of conduct in the medical field, the medical practitioners are required to act with due care and diligence in their day to day activities in their profession. The life of a human being should be handled with care because it is very precious therefore the medical practitioners should consider their interest subordinate to the human life. In the case of Dr.Moe Mathis, it was negligence of professional duty to perform a test carelessly or rely on an insufficient test to perform surgery on Mr. Howard. Dr.Moe insubordinates thee of interest of the patient and he focused more on money as well as failing to perform sufficient and reliable test results before performing the surgery. He therefore deserves the legal charges for improper conduct of his duty since it is both illegal and unethical to commit murder.
Dr Moeth Mathis was generally motivated by his own desires to perform the cancer surgery on Howard for the sake of money without considering that the life of an individual should be prioritized. He therefore failed on both the legal grounds as well as the ethical principles of the medical profession.
Ethics is the philosophical study of human moral values, and therefore it outlines principles that highlights what are good and bad moral values. In health care fraternity there are ethical principles guiding the relationship between the healthcare professionals and also relationship between healthcare professionals and the patients. In the course of provision of healthcare to patients, doctors, nurses and any other health practitioner must adhere to these principles. As Dr. Warren Stucki puts in the novel “Hunting for Hypocrites” Dr. Moe Mathis the main character in this book did not adhere legally did not adhere to all the four principles of ethics that is the principle of autonomy, Beneficence, Non-maleficence and Justice. Dr. Mathis did not do enough diagnostic assessment as a Urologist to ascertain whether Howard father to his lover Connie was indeed suffering from cancer and he ended up performing an unnecessary surgery (Stucki, 2004 p. 62) .
The principle of autonomyThis principle basically advocates for respect of individual privacy and democratic freedom. Human beings are mortal beings and as such they have the ability to think and make their own choices on what is right and moral to them. In the context of healthcare provision, patients must be given the right to make individual choices on what is good and appropriate to them. It is so clear that there was no good communication between Dr. Mathis and his patient Howard. A poor doctor patient relationship leads to wrong diagnosis and wrong treatment. He did not give the patient enough time to express himself and give the symptoms of the disease.
The principle of BeneficenceThis is the principle of doing good or advocating for good things to all humanity. In the practice of health on should always do what is good and beneficial to the patient regardless of whether they have any relation or grudge. Dr. Mathis by all standards did not do well to his patient because he did an operation on him causing a lot of pain and also causing pain to Howard’s family. Howard died as results of the operation causing grieve and mourning in his family and this is not doing well. Any action that a healthcare provider undertakes to do must be beneficial to the patient and must make him or her and his family satisfied that indeed the doctor has done his best (Stucki, 2004 p. 92) .The principle of Non-maleficenceThe principle of Non-maleficence protects against harm. As healthcare provider one should always be cautious to ensure that he does not cause any harm to the patient; physical, psychological or emotional harm. In this case, the doctor caused physical harm to Howard by performing a radical prostate cancer surgery on his lover’s father that led to his death this is physical harm to the patient. He also caused psychological trauma to the family following untimely death of their breadwinner. The children could not believe that their father was death a in fact this was the major reason behind breakup of relationship between Dr. Mathis and Connie his lover. The principle of justiceThe principle of justice states that as healthcare providers we should exercise justice and fairness in sharing the limited resources without distinction of race, color, religion or political affiliations. Resources such as funds, personnel and medical supplies are not always enough for all people by applying the principal of justice, one ensures that such resources are shared fairly and at the end of the day everyone is satisfied. The doctor wasted the medical facility’s resources. Performing a prostate cancer surgery is indeed very expensive and requires a lot of resources and so the doctor denied another patient the right to healthcare by using resources in improper way.
In conclusion, the medical practitioners should observe both legal and ethical code of conduct in their course of duty in order to take good care of the life of the patient(Stucki, 2004 p. 156) .
Stucki, W. J. Hunting for Hippocrates: A novel. Santa Fe, N.M: Sunstone Press, 2004.