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Ethical considerations in maternity services to HIV positive pregnant women - Essay Example

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The author's view of ethics is as follows; Ethics is a generic term used to refer to the several different ways of examining and understanding moral life. The health care service has morality standards of conduct that are generally acknowledged and accepted by the majority of health care professional…
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Ethical considerations in maternity services to HIV positive pregnant women
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Download file to see previous pages The author's view of ethics is as follows; Ethics is a generic term used to refer to the several different ways of examining and understanding moral life. The health care service has morality standards of conduct that are generally acknowledged and accepted by the majority of health care professional. These standards include;Unfortunately within the current climate of limited and finite resources available for health care provision, it is very easy to overlook our moral responsibilities whilst focusing on balancing books and meeting targets. Because they form a small percentage of the whole, HIV positive pregnant women were being overlooked. The rarity of HIV amongst pregnant women meant knowledge of its management in pregnancy amongst midwives was limited.HIV positive pregnant women, although a minority in most of the hospitals, require special care with much of ethical considerations in order to help them to deliver a child avoiding the chances of vertical transmission as far as possible. This requires awareness not only for the patient but also for the people especially midwives who are dealing with them. It is reported that only about 50% of the people in Africa returns to hospital for any such care after diagnosing positive for HIV and only about 23% are taking antiretroviral therapy which is meant to keep the viral load to a safer minimum level. Worldwide statistics revealed that only one-third of the HIV positive pregnant women take the services rendered...
Most of the women prefer a vaginal delivery. But the doctors would recommend only caesarean, if the viral load is higher than 1,000 copies/ml at the time of delivery or at 36 weeks. During the pregnancy period, if the patient has taken only AZT and no other medications and if she has not received the special prenatal care for HIV positive women, then also doctors would suggest caesarean (Delivery Options for HIV Positive Pregnant Women, 2008). Therefore the patient has to undergo antiretroviral therapy much before the due date so that the viral load could be reduced by the due date and can have a safe vaginal delivery. She also has to take the required medications and prenatal care in order to have a vaginal delivery. So even if a woman wanted to have a vaginal delivery, if her viral load remained high at 36 weeks, the obstetrician would recommend that she has an elective LSCS. This is a simplification of autonomy. It's the author's belief that to ensure true autonomy, regardless of the limited choices available, HIV positive women had to be provided with all information necessary to help them make a conscious choices to follow recommended actions.
Most of the HIV positive women would be hiding the facts about the disease from their relatives, friends and even from their family members. So they may not come forward asking for the services. It is also not possible to compel them to take services. But an appropriate counselling would help them to understand the importance of these services for them as well as for their child. So these services has to be offered while respecting the autonomy. It is often forgotten that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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