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Ethical descion making-Healthcare ethics - Essay Example

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In every area of human life, may it be its profession or field of specialization; there are established ethical standards by the federal government. This ethical standards or sometimes called "Code of Professional Ethics" governs professionals to be ethically responsible in all activities concerning their fields…
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and Ethical Decision Making: Health Care Ethics INTRODUCTION
In every area of human life, may it be its profession or field of specialization; there are established ethical standards by the federal government. This ethical standards or sometimes called "Code of Professional Ethics" governs professionals to be ethically responsible in all activities concerning their fields. This code of ethics serves as guidelines to these practitioners to do what is right and honorable. It also assists them to make wise decisions, particularly when faced with difficult situations where they may be asked to compromise their integrity and values.
This paper aims to show two ethical issues/dilemmas in the health care area discussing and identifying the conflicting interests and the applicable ethical theories and principles. The Ascension Health organization website will be used to gather information and ideas for this paper. Ascension Health is the nation's largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system, serving patients through a network of hospitals and related health facilities providing acute care services, long-term care, community health services, psychiatric, rehabilitation and residential care.
CASES
Case 1
The first case presented in this paper is about a rape victim who was brought to Freeman Hospital's emergency room. The hospital authorities refused to disclose facts about the morning-after pill which the rape victim requested for information. The hospital authorities' reason is that they are a Catholic Hospital and they are against abortion.
The competing interest now is that the victim/patient has the right to make her own decisions regarding the treatment, and therefore, adequate disclosure of information must be provided so the patient can make an informed decision. However, the Freeman Hospital being a catholic institution refused to disclose information to the patient regarding the pill, claiming that they are against abortion or prevention and termination of pregnancy.
The ethical principles and concepts involved in this issue are about religious freedom, autonomy, respect for autonomy, right to life, human dignity, informed consent, respect for persons, beneficence, institutional & professional integrity, and justice. (Ascension Health, 2007)
Case 2
The second case is about an issue of euthanasia or mercy killing or physician-assisted suicide. A patient was diagnosed to have Alzheimer's disease when her doctor assisted her in committing suicide in the year 1989. The doctor was charged with murder but the court dropped charges after a two-day preliminary hearing.
The competing interest now in this issue is that the court ruled that the doctor did not break any law by helping the patient commit suicide because there is no law outlawing suicide or the medical assistance of it yet. Some of the more prominent issues is that whether the patient was in fact giving informed consent; the fact that the doctor did not have an established professional relationship with her; the fact that she was not terminally ill; the whole issue of whether or not a person actually possesses the right to die; and discussions on the limits of autonomy. (Ascension Health, 2007)
Ethical principles and standards involved in this situation are respect for autonomy, common good, human rights, human dignity, professional integrity. (Ascension Health, 2007)
Respect for autonomy is the person's right to make choices and take action based on that person's own values and belief system. Common Good consists of all the conditions of society and the goods secured by those conditions. Human Rights are claims to the minimum conditions necessary for life in community and which allow one to fulfill one's moral responsibility in life, e.g., the right to health care. Human Dignity has something to do with conceptual basis for human rights and lastly, Professional Integrity means acting in accordance with the core values of one's profession, such as the value of healing in medicine.
Reference:
Ascension Health, 4600 Edmundson Road St. Louis, Missouri 63134 / Copyright 2007 Ascension Health / http://www.ascensionhealth.org/default.asp Read More
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