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Ethical Issues in Healthcare, Essay Example

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Healthcare professionals are charged with dealing with many issues concerning patients and healthcare system regulations. Morrison (2009) refers to ethics in healthcare as not only a matter of doing the right thing, but it is also a matter of being knowledgeable enough to make logical and solid choices when dealing with ethical issues. Morrison (2009) breaks ethics into two categories: normative and metaethics. Normative ethics deals with the right and the wrong and metaethics studies ethical concepts.

Some types of ethical issues that healthcare professionals face are those dealing with controversy such as physician-assisted death and abortion; or those dealing with conflicts of interests like inappropriate patient-doctor romantic relationships or the fraudulent prescribing of medicines for addicted patients. This is not only unethical, but illegal as well.

The National Association for Healthcare Quality (2011) regulates the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Healthcare Quality Professionals, which defines a standard of conduct for healthcare professionals which promotes commitment to “practicing the profession with honesty, integrity and accountability…” A code of healthcare ethics is important to gain and maintain public trust and also to offer guidelines for professionals to respect laws and not engage in fraudulent or deceptive activities. People put their trust in healthcare professionals and they should not be let down by any intentional or unintentional acts of irresponsibility. This is why the doctor-patient relationship is so important. A doctor is seen as a person of authority and with that the doctor has an obligation not to abuse this authority. Additionally, doctors are charged with keeping patient information confidential to protect the patient’s privacy and dignity, and this is also Federal law as well.

Ethics in healthcare is an ongoing issue of concern for both the patients and the healthcare professionals, but it this is also necessary aspect of operating healthcare organizations and the business of dealing with people.

References

Morrison, E. (2009). Health Care Ethics: Critical Issues for the 21st Century: Critical Issues. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC.

The National Association for Healthcare Quality. (2011). The Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Healthcare Quality Professionals. Retrieved from http://www.nahq.org/uploads/files/about/codestandards.pdf

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