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Health ethics - Essay Example

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Name: Tutor: Course: Date: University: Health Ethics Case Summary Child N is five years old. On her way to school, she was knocked down by a lorry and sustained a serious injury. She is taken by an ambulance to hospital and presented to the Emergency Department…
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction This paper presents the clinical case, clearly outlining the ethical dilemma basing on virtue ethical theory and principles that are applicable to this situation. Healthcare providers often deal with ethical questions and dilemmas that, if not resolved adequately, may jeopardize their professional practice, healthcare quality, or even user autonomy. In dealing with the ethical dilemmas, healthcare specialists utilize legal aspects, as well as bioethical principles, as a platform for conflict resolution regarding fundamental rights, analysis of the best treatment, and professional’s share of responsibility. Bioethical concerns are prominent in the arena of healthcare, especially in situations such as execution of blood transfusion to Jehovah Witnesses. It is apparent that Jehovah Witnesses do not accept blood transfusion, even in circumstances where life is threatened. According to Jehovah Witnesses, the refutation to have a blood transfusion is supported in the biblical texts of Genesis and Leviticus, recommending the faithful to refrain from assimilation of blood, whether by mouth or vein. Jehovah Witnesses believe that blood transfusion violates God’s law, thus causing moral, religious, and even existential damage. Blood transfusion to Jehovah Witnesses draws a striking collision of issues such as fundamental rights, the right to life, the dignity of a person, religious freedom, and the right to individual autonomy (Veatch & Haddad 2008, p.284). The case represents an embodiment of two moral evils; performance of blood transfusion that might lead to an embarrassment and a moral evil to the Jehovah Witness, owing to the rules set out in the doctrine. Non-performance of a blood transfusion, on the other hand, often leads to an omission, which exposes healthcare providers to an ethical-legal battle. Hence, one may argue that the ethical-legal obligation should be to solve the inconsistency between the two moral evils. Background The case study presents an ethical dilemma faced by healthcare providers in the course of their duty, especially when treating and caring for Jehovah Witnesses placed in a critical situation owing to medical life-threatening situations. An ethical dilemma refers to the quandary in which people find themselves in circumstances where they have to choose the manner of acting that might aid another individual and, which is the correct thing to do, regardless of whether it might contradict their own self-interest. This may be done in full knowledge that whichever preference they pick will end up harming one party while probably assisting another. People and groups vary in their opinions concerning of what they term as ethical and unethical, grounded in their personal self-interest, attitudes, beliefs, and values (Macklin 2003, p.275). Virtue Ethics Virtue ethics theory acknowledges the society’s ability to highlight, interpret, prioritize, and adjust to moral considerations within a certain context. Virtue ethics highlights what is morally correct from the patient’s point of view, and centres on the patient’s autonomy. Virtue ethics stipulates that both action and character are intertwined, and the capability to act morally is dependent on the individual’s moral character and integrity. Virtue ethics centres on the context of the situation via ethical analysis of a problem through the following steps: (a) identifying the problem (b) analyzing the context (c) investigating options (d) applying the decision process, and (e) formulating a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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