"Medical ethics refers to the discussion and application of moral values and responsibilities in the areas of medical practice and research. While questions of medical ethics have been debated since the beginnings of Western medicine in the fifth century B.C., medical ethics as a distinctive field came into prominence only since World War II. This change has come about largely as a result of advances in medical technology, scientific research, and telecommunications. These developments have affected nearly every aspect of clinical practice, from the confidentiality of patient records to end-of-life issues. Moreover, the increased involvement of government in medical research as well as the allocation of health care resources brings with it an additional set of ethical questions."
Wells, K. R. (2013). Medical Ethics. In B. Narins (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health (3rd ed., Vol. 4, pp. 2104-2107). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com