The gap between the state of affairs pertaining legalization of medical marijuana in Japan and the United States is palpable. While the federal states in the United States are changing their laws and policies to allow the use of medical marijuana in the treatment of multiple conditions, its use is still highly prohibited in Japan. The existing disparities need to be eliminated. Japan has to come on board and see the medical benefits that cannabis has rather than casting a blind eye (“Ethical principles in healthcare”, 2015).
One avenue to use in the elimination of these disparities is the use of ethical principles.
There are a couple of ethical principles, and each has their perception of analyzing issues. We’ll kick it off with the principle of utilitarianism; this law states that an action should be judged as right or wrong based on the outcome or the implications of that action. Similarly, Japan’s law making bodies can adopt the view that medical marijuana can be considered as either right or wrong by weighing it against its outcome. The drug has proven medical benefits in diseases such as cancer, glaucoma treatment, and epileptic seizures (“Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects”, 2014). All of which are “good” things. The utilitarian principle will, therefore, favor the adoption of the drug in Japan.
Another ethical principle that would primarily apply to medical cases is Non-maleficence. It urges people to do no harm. The Japanese policy makers need to adopt this view, in prohibiting medical cannabis and legally charging cancer patients found using medical marijuana they are doing harm to the patients (Borowicz, Kaczmarska, & Szalewska, 2014). They deny the patients drugs that could potentially aid their prognosis. Finally, fairness and justice to the patients in need of medical marijuana should help change the strict laws in Japan.
Borowicz, K., Kaczmarska, P., & Szalewska, B. (2014). Medical use of marijuana. Archives Of Physiotherapy And Global Researches, 18(1), 13-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.15442/apgr.18.1.20
Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. (2014).Jahrbuch Für Wissenschaft Und Ethik, 18(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jwiet-2014-0117
Ethical principles in healthcare. (2015). The Pharmaceutical Journal. http://dx.doi.org/10.1211/pj.2015.20068954