Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
ZOBOLI, Elma Lourdes Campos Pavone and FORTES, Paulo Antonio de Carvalho. Bioethics and primary care: an outline of ethical problems experienced by nurses and physicians in the Family Health Program, São Paulo, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.6, pp.1690-1699. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000600028.
This is a qualitative empirical study of descriptive ethics conducted with nurses and physicians working in the Family Health Program (FHP) in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The objective was to identify ethical problems experienced by these professionals, who were asked to record ethical problems they had faced through a short written description of such events. The results revealed ethical problems involving patients and their families, the health team, organization, and the health system. The study addresses ethical issues permeating daily health care practice and requiring immediate solutions, rather than the classical dilemmas usually found in bioethics literature. The peculiarity of ethical problems in primary care may hinder their identification as such and jeopardize the relationships upon which the FHP is built.
Keywords : Bioethics; Primary Health Care; Family Health Program.