Ethical and Legal Implications of Medical Practices

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Chapter five is about Ethical and legal implications of practice. These are both important topics in the healthcare field. It is important to make ethical choices and understand the legal implications of the choices that you make. In this paper I will write about Ethical theories and principles, ethical viewpoints and decision making, and also the legal issues affecting respiratory care. Ethical theories and principles provide the foundation for all ethical behavior. Contemporary ethical principles have evolved from many different sources. “These include Aristotle and Aquinas’ natural law, Judeo-Christian mortality, Kant’s universal duties, and the values characterizing modern democracy.” (Wilkins, Stoller, & Kacmarek, 2009, p. 80) There is some controversy that exists however most ethicists agree that autonomy, veracity, nonmaleficence, beneficence, confidentiality, justice, and role fidelity to be the primary guiding principles in contemporary ethical decision making. Ethical principles in the professional setting have two components the professional duty and patients’ rights. The principles of autonomy acknowledge the patients personal liability and their right to decide their own course of treatment and follow a plan that they freely agree. It is from this principle that informed consent is from. Veracity binds the health care provider and the patient to tell the truth. The principle of nonmaleficence obligates the health care provides to avoid harming patients and to actively prevent harm when possible. The principle of beneficence raises the do no harm requirement to an even higher level. Beneficence requires that health care providers go beyond doing no harm and actively contribute to the health and well-being of their patients. The principle of confidentiality obliges health care providers to respect the secrets which are confided even after the patient has passed away. The principle of justice involves the fair distribution of care. Role duty looks at...
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