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Ethical Disparities in Healthcare, Coursework Example

Pages: 1

Words: 969

Coursework

Introduction

Healthcare practice requires all clinicians and practitioners to provide ethically responsible care and treatment to their patients at all times. This is essential to the development of specific factors and considerations that positively influence patient outcomes and treatment strategies. However, many areas of healthcare practice contribute to disparities in treatment rather than making an effort to reduce these concerns, thereby leading to different forms of stereotyping and discrimination in patient care settings (Nelson, 2002). These findings suggest that it is necessary to develop new approaches that will have a greater impact on patients through equal treatment and support of all patients, along with the creation of new opportunities for growth to improve the quality of treatment that is provided in these settings (Nelson, 2002). It is important to address these concerns in the following paragraphs in order to reduce existing disparities across healthcare practice, along with the creation of new directives to enhance patient care and treatment across all population groups, regardless of race, color, or other differences.

Analysis

From a moral perspective, there are considerable challenges associated with ethical appropriateness in healthcare practice, as many patients are not treated equally as a result of longstanding perceptions and subsequent disparities across population groups (Shaw and Armin, 2011). It is important to identify areas where improvements in moral decision-making might be made so that patients are not excluded from the same level of patient care as others (Shaw and Armin, 2011). Healthcare professionals must exercise full support of all patients, regardless of their backgrounds in order to enhance the quality of patient care that is provided (Shaw and Armin, 2011). When health disparities are minimized, then there is a greater opportunity to provide the desired level of care and treatment without hesitation or unnecessary obstacles (Shaw and Armin, 2011).

In some healthcare environments, it is important to develop strategic objectives to eliminate healthcare disparities as best as possible within different environments (Johnstone and Kanitsaki, 2010). When disparities are evident, it is likely that there will be significant discrepancies in the quality of patient care that is provided (Johnstone and Kanitsaki, 2010). It is believed that in many situations, racism is an underlying cause of healthcare disparities; therefore, additional measures must be explored that will positively impact patients rather than lead to negative consequences and perceptions of healthcare practice (Johnstone and Kanitsaki, 2010). Therefore, attitudes towards racism must be addressed with the provision of healthcare services to all patients in order to prevent any disparities from occurring that could disrupt healthcare practice and quality (Johnstone and Karitsaki, 2010). When racism is suspected, there are significant consequences to be considered that may interfere with healthcare quality and progress that must be addressed as best as possible (Johnstone and Karitsaki, 2010).

Based upon standard moral codes, there are significant challenges associated with racism and health disparities in healthcare practice settings (Jones, 2010). It is known that “The health disparities that exist in the United States are morally problematic because they exemplify and aid in perpetuating a centuries-old system of injustices based on race/ethnicity and class” (Jones, 2010, P. S47). Therefore, it is important to identify the issues that are most prevalent in contributing to healthcare disparities in many communities, particularly those where lower incomes and disadvantaged statuses are prevalent (Jones, 2010). It is expected that these concerns will play a role in supporting favorable outcomes for healthcare practice and the patients who require different types of treatment for the conditions that they face (Jones, 2010).

The ethical nature of healthcare practice conveys an important responsibility to clinical professionals to offer ethically responsible care and treatment to all patients (Jones, 2010). Therefore, from a clinical perspective, healthcare professionals cannot discriminate against patients of any background and cannot contribute to the existence of health disparities in different forms (Jones, 2010). However, when these disparities exist and they are driven by specific factors such as insurance or income status, there are significant negative perceptions of many healthcare workers and the level of care that they provide (Jones, 2010). It is essential for healthcare providers to identify and evaluate existing healthcare disparities and to address their significance in prohibiting the desired level of healthcare quality that is offered to patients, particularly those in specific population groups (Jones, 2010). Healthcare workers and their organizations must be prepared to effectively manage these conditions and to take the steps that are required to support positive treatment outcomes for all patients, regardless of their backgrounds (Jones, 2010).

Conclusion

The utilization of healthcare services requires the commitment of professionals to all patients in order to best meet their needs. However, many healthcare organizations experience challenges that are related to their treatment of patients from various backgrounds, particularly when they are disadvantaged. The development of a successful healthcare environment requires all workers to be held ethically and morally accountable for their actions so that patients are not discriminated against under any circumstances. There must be equal treatment provided to all patients, regardless of background or culture. When these circumstances are not achieved, then it is impossible to demonstrate moral and ethically responsible behavior in the healthcare setting. All patients should be provided with the same basis for treatment to ensure that their needs are met without delays or hesitation in the type of care that is received from employees across all areas of practice.

References

Johnstone, M.J., and Kanitsaki, O. (2010). The neglect of racism as an ethical issue in health care. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 12, 489-495.

Jones, C.M. (2010). The moral problem of health disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 100(Suppl 1), S47-S51.

Nelson, A. (2002). Unequal treatment: confronting racial and ethnic disparities in health care. Journal of the American Medical Association, 94(8), 666-668.

Shaw, S.J., and Armin, J. (2011). The ethical self-fashioning of physicians and health care systems in culturally appropriate health care. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry,  35,  236-261.

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