Ethical Issues of Health Care

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Ethical issues in health care
PHI 111:71 Tuesdays 5:25-7:55
Dr. Aronson
November 2, 2008
Word Count: 1,993

An Ironic Reversal of Professional Perspective in Medical Ethics

An Ironic Reversal of Professional Perspective in Medical Ethics

The movie “The Doctor” captures the shortcomings of a mechanized health care industry. Dr. Jack McKee is a gifted, however, arrogant, and self centered surgeon who cares little about the emotional welfare of his patients; treating them with a callous attitude, and examining them as specimen. Out of the four models of physician/patient relationship, Dr. McKee exemplified the Paternalistic model, the least ideal model for physician/patient interactions. He makes decisions for the patient dismissing the importance of their values or desires. For example, on the way home from a festival with his wife, Mrs. Street calls because she is concerned that her husband wants to mow the lawn after having just received surgery on his lungs. Dr. McKee says” Well it is dangerous to mow the lawn in the dark”, laughs, and carelessly hangs up on her. He also uses the interpretive model where the patient is inchoate and is asking for elucidation of their values and acts as a counselor. For example, the suicidal patient, he tells the patient next time he wants to torture himself to go play golf. Doctors such as Dr. Murray, Dr. Abbott, and his radiology therapist were doctors in the film that acted in the same manner as Dr. McKee had in the beginning of the film. Dr. Murray asked him to lie under oath for him in a major malpractice case against Mr. Richards. This case involved medical infidelity and going against the ethical principle of justice when the benefit that Mr. Richard’s was entitled to was denied and the burden of his health was imposed unduly. He was denied informed consent of his medical conditions and went against the Kantian belief of truth-telling which states” to be truthful in all declarations is therefore a sacred and conditional command of reasons, and not to be limited by any other expediency.” Dr. Abbott also treats her patients like specimen and has an egoistic view in medical ethics. She’s rude, keeps her patients waiting, and speaks to them in a careless manner. At one point when Dr. McKee was concerned about being unable to see her until later in the day she says to him, “I am the doctor and you are my patient. I am telling you when I am available.” Dr. McKee’s radiology therapist left his cancer patients unattained for an entire week because he was backed up and also against informed- consent as well as truth-telling when he fails to inform Dr. McKee that his tumor has gotten larger since therapy. All he tells him is that “it didn’t shrink.” In the beginning of the film, Dr. McKee would have evaluated this type of behavior from doctors as acceptable and justifiable. A Medical Ethics committee is responsible for ethical issues, problems and dilemmas pertaining to health. Medical Ethics involves the moral relationship between people and health professionals and is based primarily on the idea of fidelity, respect, and trust. Although a medical ethics committee follows principles of autonomy, informed consent, confidentiality, beneficence, and distributive justice, If Dr. McKee were to be a member of medical ethics committee in the beginning of the movie, he would ultimately address a dilemma from a more paternalistic view. If he were to be placed in a position where he needed to evaluate a situation and come up with a decision regarding a patients health, he would believe in doing what appears to be in the best interest of the patient even if it against the expressed of implied wishes of the patient, but “for the patient’s own good.” He would act upon the principle of double effect which states that it is permissible to do what ordinarily is harm if one does not intend the harm, the harm is an unintended effect of some good action, and the action is the only...
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