Physicians’ Ethical Dilemmas in the Context of Anti-Doping Practices
Ekmekci, Perihan Elif
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The World Anti-Doping Code states that, there is an intrinsic value about sports that is the celebration of the human spirit, body and mind, and is reflected in values other than winning or being the first in any sports game. The spirit of sports includes ethics, fair play and honesty. Anti-doping practices are based on this ethical ground and supported all through the world. However, recently with the arguments that there is no substantial definition of the term “spirit of sports”, and that the fights against doping is based on questionable ethical grounds consisting of dubious claims about fairness in sports and terms such as “level playing field”. Medical ethics is involved in this discussion because of the crucial role of physicians in anti-doping policies and practices as well as developing and administering ergogenic substances or methods for athletes. This role of physicians raises ethical questions regarding physician-patient relationship, principle of non-male ficence, privacy and confidentiality of patient, and fairness and justice in the macro allocation of resources. The aim of this paper is to discuss ethical arguments on anti-doping practices and policies and, to further evaluate current anti-doping practices in the context of medical ethics.