Health Care Ethics

Health Care Ethics:

What is health care ethics?

Families, patients, and health care professionals occasionally face complicated decisions regarding medical treatments that occupy moral principles, professional guidelines or religious beliefs.
Health care ethics is an attentive exploration of how to react properly and make morally good desires, based upon beliefs and values regarding death, suffering, health and life.

What are some common ethical questions?

Usually, ethics questions occur while the right thing to do is not clear or while people disagree regarding what is fine for a person who is unwell. Several cases of general ethical questions comprise:

A) While should life-sustaining treatments as breathing machines or feeding tubes be stopped, started or continued?

B) What must family members and health care professionals do whether a patient rejects treatment which promises to be medically useful?

C) Who must form health care decisions for patients whereas they are not capable to decide or communicate for themselves?

D) What must patients do while they do not understand what professionals are feel and saying they are not offered the chance to participate for their own health care decisions?

Phases of Health care ethics:

Health ethics developed in four phases throughout the last some decades. Traditional ethics that mostly prevailed till the sixties, engaged the relationship in between the health care patient and the provider, and was dominated through the Hippocratic culture that had given it along with a core of values for more than 2000 years.

Advances in biotechnology and bio-sciences, as organ transplantation, biology and genetics, molecular, initiated an additional ethical dimension generally termed as bioethics.

The market liberalization and democratization that swept the world resulted in a raising cost of health services. A latest ethical dilemma developed due to the growing gap between available health and health requires resources. The ideas of health ethics was broadened to what is occasionally termed as "health policy ethics". This would cover those issues as health policy priorities, coverage, cost effectiveness, delivery, quality and research. Ethics moved from being a personal issue restricted to the dissatisfaction or satisfaction of the particular to a social issue dealing along with the social and mental well being of the people.

Since we move to the twenty-first century, the protection and promotion of human rights is gaining superior momentum. "The enjoyment of the highest standard of health is one of the basic rights of each human being without distinction of religion, race, political belief, social or economic condition," stated the World Health Organization constitution in 1946. This is relatively recent that the implications of such statement on ethics and equity in health care have been acquiring more help.

The double relationship between the right to health and human rights will impose a fourth dimension on our understanding of health ethics.

Key Ethical Principles:

Autonomy:

  • Respect the right of a person to built their own decisions
  • Teach people to be capable to make their own choices
  • Assist people in their individual choices
  • Do not coerce or force people to do things
  • ‘Informed Consent’ is a significant result of this principle

Beneficence (to do good):

  • Our actions should intend to ‘benefit’ people: health, comfort, welfare, well-being, enhance potential of a person, and enhance quality of life.
  • ‘Benefit’ must be defined through the person themselves. It’s not what we assume that is significant. 
  • Act on behalf of ‘vulnerable’ people to guard their rights
  • Prevent harm
  • Form a supportive and safe environment
  • Assist people in crises

Non – maleficence (to do no harm):

  • do not to inflict harm on people
  • do not cause suffering or pain
  • do not cause offence
  • do not incapacitate
  • do not deprive people
  • do not murder

Justice:

  • Treating people fairly
  • Not favouring several groups or individuals over others
  • Acting in a non prejudicial or non discriminatory way
  • Respect for the rights of people
  • Respect for the law

Distributive Justice:

Sharing the scarce sources in a fair in society and just way (for example: health services, professional time)

  • How must we share out healthcare resources?
  • How do we share out our time along with patients?
  • Deciding how to do this raises several complicated queries

Patients should ge:

  • An identical share?  
  • Just adequate to meet their requirements?
  • What they can pay for?
  • What they deserve?

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