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Nonmaleficence & Healthcare cost - Essay Example

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Running head: Nonmaleficence and healthcare cost Nonmaleficence and Healthcare Cost (name) (date) Nonmaleficence and Healthcare Cost Introduction Various ethical principles apply to the health care practice. Four of these are the basic ethical principles which health care practitioners apply to their practice…
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Download file to see previous pages The principle of beneficence is basically about acting for the benefit of the patient – that all actions are geared towards ensuring one’s actions would be for the good of the patient. This principle is very much related to that of nonmaleficence which basically mandates that no harm must not intentionally or non-intentionally be visited upon the patient by the health professional’s actions. Finally, the principle of justice is about giving a person his due and what he is entitled to. These principles form the foundation of all health care decisions. For health professionals making decisions about a patient’s care, these principles help guide the healthcare practice towards morally and ethically prudent decisions. In the current era of economic recession which is also causing multiple budget cuts, the imposed health budget cuts seem to be coming under scrutiny for their negative implications to the delivery of health services. The principle of nonmaleficence is being considered as a primary consideration in scrutinizing the imposition of health care budget cuts. In effect, the application of health budget cuts contradicts the principle of non-maleficence. This paper shall consider such thesis, discussing both sides of the statement in the hope of eventually establishing a scholarly and comprehensive understanding and resolution of the issue. Discussion Since the beginning of the economic recession period, government spending in almost all sectors of social service has taken on budget cut considerations. These budget cuts have reduced funding for some health care services, and in some areas of health service, have led to total elimination of monetary support. Forms of rationing and rationalization in health care spending have also been implemented. These forms of budget cuts and limitations however have resulted to sacrifices in health care spending – some of these sacrifices have impacted on the quality and quantity of care made available to the general population. In considering the principle of nonmaleficence and its application to the reduction of health care spending, two sides of this issue are apparent. In one side, nonmaleficence clearly portrays how budget cuts cause both direct and indirect harm to patients. On the other side, it may be argued that these budget cuts do not cause the patient much harm; instead they make the redistribution of limited resources possible. The discussion below shall review both sides of this issue. Budget cuts cause direct and indirect harm to patients Budget cuts cause both direct and indirect harm to patients. Health care leaders point out that health budget cuts potentially endanger patients (Grant, 2011). With higher health premiums, higher co-pays, as well as deductibles, more people seem to be doing away with preventive care. Patients entering hospitals seem to sicker and harder to care for because they often wait for the last possible moment to seek medical care. By the time they seek medical care, their illness has already progressed into less manageable stages of care (Grant, 2011). Imposing budget cuts in the health care practice have also come to mean less nurses hired to care for patients. In effect, fewer nurses are available to care for patients who are hardly reduced in number (Grant, 2011). In considering budgets, numbers are always involved. For those who control the budget, numbers often rule their mind and their decisions. In ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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