HSM 501 Ethics in Healthcare
Jose Joe Rodriguez
Our healthcare system in the United States is currently going through a massive change.
For the past 4 years, our healthcare system has been dissected, analyzed, and restructured, with a single objective: Deliver better and more costeffective care. The Affordable Care Act, which was enacted in 2010, promised to accelerate both the rate of change and level in which we delivered care across this country (cms.gov). While there were many provisions of the act, there were specific amendments and legislation focused on healthcare delivery to the costliest and most inefficiently serviced population which is the elderly population.
Statistics …show more content…
150). So how do we avoid harm? In the simplest form for physician; avoiding harm is to introduce early education, early goal oriented discussions, and most importantly set up an advanced directive. In many ways nonmaleficence overrides beneficence. There is a moral and ethical obligation to not harm others, which is greater than the obligation to help (Beauchamp & Childress, 2013, pp. 150). When we see a patient of elderly status at the end of their life 's term suffer, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually; it is important that any healthcare professional protects them from further harm. The only rational way to practice this with a patient who is alert, oriented, and competent is to be honest, forthright, and to have a goal oriented discussion about the potential harm a procedure might cause vs. the quality and quantity of life they may have left.
The final principle is justice. Justice can be defined as an act of fairness, having a sense of entitlement, fair, equitable, and appropriate treatment in light of what is due(Beauchamp &
Childress, 2013, pp. 250). The use of medical resources to intervene when care is deemed futile …show more content…
For me honesty is essential in helping someone make a proper decision. Sometimes honesty can be brutal, and for the elderly at the late stage of life, can be the difference between living a dignified life or a life of suffering. I believe that being forthright is also important.
Medical professionals should have clear and openended discussions as to the value of pursuing treatments that are no longer considered beneficial to an elderly patient and ensure that the drive and persuade their point. There are so many instances in my professional career where I run into scenarios where families and patients are not given a thorough explanation and/or education about what 's happening in their disease process. Family and patient only then make decisions based on feelings and own personal desires for a cure, which is also part of our human nature, and that is to try and "get better" which is a mindset that comes from doing whatever is necessary to sustain life; choices are made to proceed with expensive procedures that should no longer be used on a patient at their life end. This is what causes our healthcare system to spend so