MedlinePlus is a Website for the service of U.S National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health. It offer information about health to all individuals and it can be accessed from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/medicalethics.html.
MedlinePlus is a website for the National Institute of Health. It is specifically set for patients, their families and friends. The Website is produced by National library of Medicine. The information given is about diseases, conditions and wellness issues that are easy to understand. The information set forth has undergone scrutiny and has been validated to offer reliable and updated information.
The information available in the website is free and can be accessed by anyone. In this website, information about treatment, drug supplement, meaning of medical words, medical videos, illustrations and latest links about medical research are well articulated. The information from this site has been sourced from National Library for Medicine. This library is regarded as one of the world largest libraries. The extensive information has also come from other trusted sources. There is information of over 900 conditions and diseases. The site does not do any advertisement or endorse any company or product.
In the field of ethics, there is a study of principles of right and wrong. In all areas of medicine, there must be an ethical aspect. In this website, there are crucial areas covered all concerning ethical issues. One of the areas is End of life care. The question here is whether a patient should receive nutrition. The second area tackles ethical issues about abortion. There is a question about where life begins, and whether it is ethical to terminate a pregnancy, which has birth defects. The third area of concern is genetic and prenatal testing.
The birth control issues has also been discussed, whether the methods should be available to minors. The question of whether an Organ donation can only be done by a relative. The patient’s right to refuse treatment has also been articulated in this site. The ethical issues about doctor withdrawing information from the individual or the family after you have talked to the doctor have also been tackled.
The audiences of this site are the general public or any individual who is conversant in accessing the site. The site does not have any restrictions like username and password which are used by many commercial sites. The information provided is to educate the public without any advertisement or referral to any other organization. This is a government site; it does not do any advertisement or endorse any company.
The assumed knowledge in the site is that the information and language used in therein is simplified and can be understood by the public. The information provided is wholly to provide individuals with information about their health and also their diagnosed disorders. The information about medical advice should be consulted from the qualified physicians. The assumption also is that the information provided should not be used for advertisement or to endorse any product. The pop-up advertisement does not belong to the site and most likely are produced by other websites visited. Another assumption used in the site is the use of symbols. It is assumed that the symbols used in the website are familiar to the public, and they can be used to represent familiar topics without any contradiction in terms.
The hypertext links on the page is linked to one another page by clicking the mouse on the hypertext link highlighted. A page of any information presented is of varying length. If the length of the text is greater than the size of the monitor, the information can be accessed by scrolling down. The various links are linked to the main theme through representation of systematic topics. They are all consistent with the main theme. For example, in the topic by name Health topic, the hypertext links represented below the topic, are systematic arranged not only according to individual interest but also according to conceptual understanding. There is a presentation of body location and systems.
All those are represented logically starting from blood all the way to reproductive system. On the next hyperlink, there are disorder and conditions. In this hyperlink text, all the disorders have been represented logically according to known conditions to the most complex and unknown conditions. In the hypertext link under disorder and conditions, we have cancer all the way to the substance abuse problems. The other area is Diagnostic and Therapy. This is a critical area which has specifically been positioned after disorder and conditions. The area tackles the alternative therapies all the way to transplantation and donation. The last hyperlink text describes Health and Wellness.
Those links under the link describe the ways individual ways of living may influence the way he or she lives. There are safety issues represented and wellness and lifestyle among other things. The site has personal links with reliable information and other external links to supplement the information. Many external links are reliable but other still need be scrutinized before the information is considered credible. In this website, the information is not personal interest information. The information is for the advantage of the community, and it is consistent with the main theme.
Use of graphics in this site graphics has been an extremely useful tool in the provision of information. When a hyperlink text is to be navigated, there is a color which is conspicuous the moment the link is being highlighted. This color usually highlights the link highlighted and the individual knows whether that is the desired link the individual want to view. There are pictures, colors, graphs and symbols. Pictures are used to represent topics in all those medical fields. For instance, under body location and system, the representation of each topic and the system is represented by symbols which are familiar to the public domain. When blood, Heart, and circulation are discussed, there is a representation of heart like symbol to stand for all heart related information. Those symbols are in the community sphere, and they cannot be ambiguous in the representation of information. In the female reproduction, there is a symbol which represent female which is familiar to the general public. All other topics are represented exceptionally attractive to catch up the eyes of any person visiting the site. Those graphics are designed to grab the attention since they are familiar and symbolic. They make the site users friendly due to their familiarity.
The information is supported by those graphics and they have been used sparingly to avoid distraction. The complex topics have been represented in literature explanation, and for more information, external sources are also used. The graphics are more targeted to the younger generation who their interests are more on graphics than in literature. However, the some of the concepts represented by the external links cannot be credited fully. This is because some of this information may be biased towards personal interest. This has rather been explained in their disclaimer page. In this page, they state that they are not responsible for availability and accuracy of the content from external links. They do not also endorse, guarantee, or warrant products or services provided by those sites.
Ethical issues about Abortion
The credibility of this site and its information can be traced through a discussion of one of its topic. The site defines abortion as use of medication to terminate a pregnancy. This definition is anniversary accepted, and it has also been adopted from Clinical management guidelines of obstetrician-gynecologists (2005). Medical abortions come in two forms. The first one is when there is a health issue also known as therapeutic medical abortion. The second one is when the woman chooses to end the pregnancy (Annas, Elias and Legal and ethical issues in obstetric practice 2007).
The counseling is done before the abortion is done and the woman is made aware of any information deemed essential. After the process, psychological and emotional support should be administered. The woman should also be made aware of the implication of the abortion.
The information provided is reliable because the author to whom this information has been borrowed is evident that an extensive research has been done. Their level of bias has been reduced by the fact that many authors from different background have been used to provide information. One of the Updaters of the website is Linda J. Vorvick, who is the Medical Director of the website and Physician Assistant in the University of Washington. The site has articulated very well that it does not do any advertisement and endorsement of any product. This is evident because, the information presented about the products is not individual Products but rather the labels which have been approved by the FDA.
The sampled topic has dictated that the information provided by this site is factual. They have involved many scholarly works, which is reliable, and this can be representative to all other information presented. Critiquing a source is a very powerful tool in obtaining facts and reliable data. It assists the individual to have the spirit of inquiry and not just to conform to the status quo.
Clinical management guidelines of obstetrician-gynecologists (2005). ‘Medical management of abortion’. Obstet Gynecol. 106 (4): 871-82.
Annas GJ, Elias S. Legal and ethical issues in obstetric practice (2007). Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
MedlinePlus (2012). Trusted Health Information. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/