Complementary Alternative Medicine and Ethical Dimensions in Health Professions

Complementary Alternative Medicine and Ethical Dimensions in Health Professions

Complementary And Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are resources that include care delivery, modalities, and methodologies, as well as the suppositions and beliefs that go with them, that are not inherent in the dominant medical system of a particular society or culture during a given historical period (Carlsson et al., 2020).

CAM covers services that users believe are related to beneficial health outcomes. Boundaries inside CAM and between the CAM area and the dominant system’s domain are not always clear or stable.

Patient Who Uses CAM The Most

According to James et al. (2018), those who use CAM are more likely to be female, middle-aged, and educated. In terms of health, CAM users are more likely than non-users to have many medical illnesses, but they are not more inclined to have particular diseases such as cancer or to assess their overall health as bad.

Multivariate research by Berretta et al. (2020) shows that both population and medical variables contribute individually to CAM use. Demographic traits and factors connected to a person’s health status are linked to CAM use.

Assumptions Regarding Alternative Medicine

  1. Alternative medicine is only an alternative- In actuality, many alternative therapists are also medically trained (James et al., 2018).
  2. Holistic medicine isn’t popular- In reality, scientists and physicians conduct tests on many alternative medicines to assess their efficacy.
  3. Natural physicians use no conventional medicine- A study by James et al. (2018) shows that no competent natural doctor will ever advise a patient to discontinue a prescription medication without first talking with their primary care physician.
  4. Alternative medicine is ineffective-Natural remedies will not be recommended on the spur of the moment by certified health professionals. They will use scientific studies and their expertise to recommend treatments that work.

Including Use Of CAM In Patient Education

One method of integrating the use of CAM in patient education is the nurse’s ability to provide patient-centered care. According to Carlsson et al. (2020), to offer patient-centered care, the nurse should share authority and influence with patients; share information openly and collaboratively with patients; take into account patients’ personalities, emotional wellbeing, value systems, and life issues; incorporate techniques for reaching those who do not portray for care on their own, which include health care interventions that endorse the wider population; and improve preventative health and health promotion.

Safe Use Of CAM

Before employing complementary medicine products and procedures, like any therapy, it is critical to consider safety. Safety is dependent on the individual therapy, and each supplementary product or practice should be evaluated separately. When done correctly, psychological and physical therapies such as meditation and yoga are usually regarded as safe in healthy people.

Nutritional techniques such as herbal remedies are frequently promoted as supplements, however, their safety has not been verified (Carlsson et al., 2020). Two of the most serious safety issues with dietary supplements are: Drug interactions have the potential to interfere with their desired effects, and the possibility of product contamination in cases where supplements have been discovered to include concealed prescription medicines or other chemicals, notably in dietary supplements advertised for weight reduction, sexual health, athletic performance, or body-building.

Conventional Medicine and CAM Integration

Acknowledging CAM, recognizing the need for loopholes in the current system of healthcare, verification of traditional medicine activity to induce trust in the healthcare professional-patient relation, and finally, chemical standardization of CAM to guarantee the proper quality of the herbal drugs are all part of the integration of conventional and complementary medicine (Berretta et al., 2020).

CAM may be integrated into conventional medicine by teaching it in medical schools and learning about its advantages so that it can be used as a supplement to conventional medication.

Ethical Theories, Ethical Principles, And Values

Doherty (2020) affirms that ethical theories distinguish between good and evil and provide guidelines for existing and behaving ethically. When faced with a difficult situation in your healthcare, for example, a nurse may utilize ethical theories to assist them in making the right decision. Ethical theories are formal assertions of what we should do in the face of ethical difficulty.

Ethical principles are elements of a conceptual framework that support or defend moral norms and moral judgments; they are not reliant on one’s subjective viewpoints(Pozgar, 2019). The four basic ethical notions are beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice. In healthcare, values such as devotion to quality and justice are important. They exemplify the human aspects of healthcare and are essential in the conduct of compassionate, ethical, and safe partnerships. -centered therapy

Ethical Issues In Patient Education

A terminally ill patient with specified preferences about how they want their lives to end is an example of an ethical challenge in patient education. Families may battle with the choice to remove a loved one’s life support. Zarkowski and Aksu (2021) assert that health practitioners and nurses must be prepared to deal with end-of-life difficulties and challenges that may arise while dealing with geriatric persons who cannot make logical decisions independently.

Ethical Patient Education Practices

Ethical patient education techniques refer to how patients make judgments about compliance, concordance, and acceptance of the desired therapy based on their own will and proper knowledge (Doherty, (2020).

Purpose Of Informed Consent

According to Zagaja et al. (2022), the primary goal of informed consent is to safeguard the patient. A consent form is a legally binding agreement that ensures continuous contact between the patient and the health care provider. The goal of informed consent is to present patients with relevant information in a timely way so they can make an educated decision about their healthcare choices (Zagaja et al., 2022).

Determinants Of Patient’s Ability To Give Informed Consent

The patient must be capable of comprehending and deliberate, receive full disclosure, understand the disclosure, act willingly, and consenting to the planned action to provide informed consent for a medical or surgical operation (Zagaja et al., 2022). Patients must be of legal age and competent to make decisions. The patient should also be of sound mind and not be mentally handicapped.

Sample Informed Consent Form


Name__________________________________________ OPD No___________

            Date of Birth_________ Date___________________

            Time of Surgery__________

I hereby permit the surgeon to conduct an elective cesarean section, a technique that necessitates the incision of an abdominal cavity in order to deliver a baby.

  1. I have been informed of the procedure’s purpose, technique, and hazards.
  2. I realize that I have the option to discontinue the process at any moment.
  3. I have the choice of having a third person in the room at this time.
  4. I have read and understood the contents of this consent form, and I am signing it. deliberately and willingly

☐ accept ☐ decline.

Patient Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___ /__ /__

Witness Signature: _______________________________ Date: ___ /__ /__

Dr.  Signature: _________________________ Date: __ /__ /__

Process Of Communication In Informed Consent

A more truthful and transparent discussion is when discussing informed consent and explaining everything that has to be discussed with the client, the more confidence and credibility the patient will have. Salgaonkar et al. (2021) shows that communication is essential to a good professional relationship, regardless of the patient’s current issues and status.

The relationship must be developed in such a way that the patients feel at ease so that the expert can assist the patients in maximizing the advantage that they are capable of receiving. In order to aid the patient, the professional should endeavor to be flexible, innovative, and open to new treatment procedures. 


Berretta, M., Rinaldi, L., Taibi, R., Tralongo, P., Fulvi, A., Montesarchio, V., Madeddu, G., Magistri, P., Bimonte, S., Trovò, M., Gnagnarella, P., Cuomo, A., Cascella, M., Lleshi, A., Nasti, G., Facchini, S., Fiorica, F., Di Francia, R., Nunnari, G., … Facchini, G. (2020). Physician attitudes and perceptions of complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): A multicentre Italian study. Frontiers in Oncology10, 594.

Carlsson, J. M., Vestin, M., & Bjerså, K. (2020). Use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among emergency department (ED) patients in Sweden. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies20(1), 327.

Doherty, R. F. (2020). Ethical dimensions in the health professions – E-book (7th ed.). Elsevier.

James, P. B., Wardle, J., Steel, A., & Adams, J. (2018). Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. BMJ Global Health3(5), e000895.

Pozgar, G. D. (2019). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (5th ed.). Jones and Bartlett.

Salgaonkar, S. V., Kulkarni, A. D., & Chapane, S. P. (2021). Assessment of communication skill during process of preoperative visit and informed consent by anesthesiology residents. Journal of Anaesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology37(4), 548–553.

Zagaja, A., Bogusz, R., Sak, J., Wiechetek, M., & Pawlikowski, J. (2022). Quality of informed consent in mammography screening-the Polish experience. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(11), 6735.

Zarkowski, P., & Aksu, M. N. (2021). Legal and Ethical Issues in Treating Adolescent Patients. Dental Clinics, 65(4), 815-826.