Searching for ethos in family health strategy: a bioethical investigation

This is a qualitative and quantitative empirical study seeking to identify and critically describe bioethical issues in primary health care from the perspective of members of Family Health Strategy (ESF) teams in a city in the mountainous region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It also sought to detect the degree of theoretical approximation of professionals regarding the basics of ethics and bioethics, based on principalist theory. A semi-structured questionnaire was adopted as data collection instrument. The responses were categorized into aspects related to (i) ethical/bioethical conflicts in relation to staff and users; (ii) ethical/bioethical conflicts in the process of work and coexistence among team members; and (iii) misconceptions regarding the concepts of basic (bio)ethics and deontology. Although apparently less obvious, such matters concerning the scope of primary health care compromise the work process and the promotion of comprehensive care for users of the SUS.