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Ethical and Legal implications of lack of access to healthcare - Case Study Example

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Ethical and legal implications of lack of access to healthcare Ethical Implications of lack of access to health care: The American Medical Association provides for and supports the society's obligation to offer adequate, effective and timely health care services to the patients in order to ensure that no single patient is left unattended due to lack of ability of their part to pay for the services received (Beauchamp, Childress, 1989)…
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Ethical and Legal implications of lack of access to healthcare
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Download file to see previous pages The high expectations of ensuring effective care to those suffering from acute illnesses have taken a toll on the health care system in the country due to shortage of available resources against the number of people in need of care. Allocation of scarce resources in the midst of increasing costs and unemployment has led to a series of debates among scholars regarding the role and impact of ethics in provision of health care services. Although various health care reforms have been initiated over the years, to ensure better care for the citizens, the nurses and other care givers are entrusted with an ethical responsibility to provide equitable and fair distribution of resources (White, Duncan, 2002). The ethical obligation to offer adequate and timely health care services across all classes of the society entails two key principles of health care which includes - the provision of fair and equal opportunities to all members of the society and to protect and safeguard the interests of the vulnerable populations by providing them proper health care benefits. These principles seem to have eroded with time, on account of increasing costs of drugs, rise in health care expenditures, and the resulting cost-control measures arising out of the same. This has lead to serious negative implications on the society as a whole such as reduction in overall health of the citizens, reduction in employee productivity, and an increased burden on the health care system in terms of added costs among many others (Sulmasy, 1992). Although access to health care services is not an end to all health related problems, the equitable access to such services does however significantly increases the odds of attaining better health outcomes due to timely diagnosis and treatment. According to the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedicine and Behavioral Science Research Commission, one of the key ethical obligations of the society includes ensuring equal access to health care services. The commission states that "Equitable access to health care requires that all citizens be able to secure an adequate level of care without excessive burdens" (Millman 1993, Pp. 32). Legal Implications of lack of access to health care: There are wide ranging racial disparities in the United States with regard to health care, despite of stringent laws against such discrimination. However, such disparities exist on account of various reasons such as the vulnerabilities of people belonging to certain races such as African Americans and Hispanics who belong to low socio-economic backgrounds. According to The Civil Rights Act of 1964, any discrimination in provision of health care may lead to enforcement of legal action against the accused. Section 601 of Title VI states that "No person in the United States, shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance" (Williams 2007, pp. 180). This clearly indicates that law prohibits any kind of discrimination however preventing such discrimination poses a greater challenge, due to the various types of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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