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1.  The major medical ethical challenges facing the public and healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia 
Despite the relatively high expenditure on healthcare in Saudi Arabia, its health system remains highly centralized in the main cities with its primary focus on secondary and tertiary care rather than primary care. This has led to numerous ethical challenges for the healthcare providers. This article reports the results of a study conducted with a panel of practitioners, and non-clinicians, in Saudi Arabia, in order to identify the top ten ethical challenges for healthcare providers, patients, and their families.
Materials and Methods:
The study design was a cross-sectional, descriptive, and qualitative one. The participants were asked the question: “What top ten ethical challenges are Saudis likely to face in health care?” The participants were asked to rank the top ten ethical challenges throughout a modified Delphi process, using a ranking Scale. A consensus was reached after three rounds of questions and an experts’ meeting.
The major 10 ethical issues, as perceived by the participants in order of their importance, were: (1) Patients’ Rights, (2) Equity of resources, (3) Confidentiality of the patients, (4) Patient Safety, (5) Conflict of Interests, (6) Ethics of privatization, (7) Informed Consent, (8) Dealing with the opposite sex, (9) Beginning and end of life, and (10) Healthcare team ethics.
Although many of the challenges listed by the participants have received significant public and specialized attention worldwide, scant attention has been paid to these top challenges in Saudi Arabia. We propose several possible steps to help address these key challenges.
PMCID: PMC3326764  PMID: 22518351
Bioethics; ethical issues; ethics priorities; medical ethics
2.  When Ethics Survive Where People Do Not 
Public Health Ethics  2010;3(1):72-77.
The provision of health care service in resource-poor settings is associated with a broad set of ethical issues. Devakumar's case discusses the ethical issues related to the inability to treat in a cholera clinic patients who do not have cholera. This paper gives a closer look on the context in which Devakumar's case took place. It also analyses the potential local and organizational factors that gives rise to ethical dilemmas and aggravate them. It also proposes a framework to help in the proactive handling of the factors that leads to ethical dilemmas and resolving the ethical issues as they appear. It adopts the four principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice as universal and prima facie principles, but with the inclusion of a local understanding of what of each of these principles means. It is based on a collaborative approach that involves the beneficiaries and other partners in the field to help share information and resources, as well as adopting the provision of a wider service to the whole community. This is done by asking three basic questions: (a) who are the relevant stakeholders? (b) what ought to be the ethical principles in place? and (c) how should we take, implement and follow the decision about service provision?
PMCID: PMC2844105  PMID: 20336229

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