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Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice
2017-05-17

Description: Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice Tags: Ethics at the heart of healthcare practice

Prof Gert van Zyl during the launch of Health
Ethics for Healthcare Practitioners with
Prof Laetus Lategan at the Central
University of Technology.
Photo: Supplied

The Central University of Technology (CUT) in partnership with the University of the Free State (UFS) launched a newly published book: Health Ethics for Healthcare Practitioners that aims to raise awareness among healthcare practitioners and patients about various unethical challenges faced by healthcare services in both the private and public sectors.

Prof Laetus Lategan, Director of Research Development and Postgraduate Studies at CUT, and Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences, are the co-editors of the book intended to provide a moral guide to healthcare professionals when dealing with their patients. 

Holistic approach to healthcare practice

Their work places renewed emphasis on the importance of healthcare ethics. This is due to a diversifying range of healthcare services and the imminent collapse of the public healthcare service sector; most notably in developing countries. The authors particularly focus on how their findings can be integrated into real-life situations.  

The book looks at modern-day healthcare ethics and how they apply to both patients and healthcare practitioners including doctors, professional nurses and therapists. It is an elaborate reference book that will help healthcare practitioners to make informed decisions should they be faced with ethical dilemmas in their practices and assist them to gain a better understanding and devise solutions to problems faced by communities.

Academic journey and partnerships forged
Prof Van Zyl said the book had been a joyful journey of collaboration between the two universities, a journey of academic colleagues who become friends. He explained that they wanted to focus on creating new approaches to healthcare from an ethical perspective, to provide a guide and reference on ethics, not only to healthcare practitioners, but also to patients. “We hope this book will make a difference in healthcare delivery,” he concluded.

Prof Lategan said modern science needed to become more interdisciplinary, which would transcend the way science was conceived. “The essence of healthcare is to be of service to other people and have relationships with other people. I think it’s high time for us to start caring for one another, especially in the academic environment. If we are really looking after the health of other people, whether it is mental, spiritual or physical health, it starts with caring for other people.”

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