Ethics in Healthcare Delivery
Ethicsin Healthcare Delivery
Ethicsin Healthcare Delivery
Healthcareis one of the main pillars of sustainable development. Indeed,optimum productivity can only be realized when the health ofcommunities is assured. In light of this view, countries are strivingto create and implement initiatives and strategies to enable quality,equal and equitable healthcare services to all citizens. Forinstance, the Obama Care policy is one of the notable efforts in therecent decade that has received the backing of the majority of peoplein the United States because it strives to fulfill these healthcareneeds. In this sense, quality healthcare refers to the extent towhich health services may increase the chances of desired healthoutcomes and reflect the modern or current professional knowledge inhealthcare. Equitable healthcare entails creating of even platformsand opportunities regarding access to health services. Professionalethics is associated with the commitment of healthcare serviceproviders to maintaining integrity, performance improvement, moralobligation, and personal accountability to all customers (clients orpublic) served. While these strategies are objective, the practice isconstrained by different forms of dilemma and training issues. Thepurpose of this paper is to explore various issues regardingprofessional ethics, quality and equitable access to healthcare aspresented in the article "A Life Worth Ending" by MichaelWolff.
of Critical Issues
Thearticle highlights various healthcare issues based on the experiencesof Van (Wolff`s mother), who is in her late years (86). Despite hersuccessful career in top positions and working for large firms, Vanis faced with multiple problems in her later years, ranging from lackof funds to cover her rising medical expenses and the reducinguncertainties of ever recovering from the conditions despite theexpensive care. To a certain extent, therefore, the article presentsthe ethical dilemma on whether the family should authorizephysician-assisted suicide or continue incurring their expenses forher care. Indeed, the article shows the high cost of medication formental and health problems that are associated with old age. Some ofthe conditions include heart attacks, dementia, short-term memory(memory loss), and cancer. Different aspects concerning care for moreelderly patients (who cannot do anything on their own) is alsofeatured in the article. The author is concerned that, with theincreasing population of the ageing people, the society is expectedto spend a lot of resources on their healthcare. For instance, thearticle indicates that over 70 percent of persons aged 80 years andabove have different chronic disabilities while 53 percent of the 70percent have one or more severe disabilities and 36 percent withmoderate to severe cognitive impairments. The number of Patient withdementia is expected to increase from 5 million to over 15 million by2050. The cost of medication is supposed to be 5 times, approximately1 trillion USD by 2050 (Wolff,2012).
TheQuality Issue: the Lack of Protection for Patients Against FinancialConsequences of Mental Conditions Associated with Old Age
Differentproblems touching on the sustainability of healthcare and ethics inthe health sector are expressed in the article. Some of theseproblems are the burden of health services for older persons whosepopulation is expected to be over 19 million by 2050, the high costof medication for various medical conditions such as heart diseases,dementia, seizures and cancer, and the lack of comprehensive andequitable medical schemes. The author outlines that the cost of thedifferent medical conditions, especially those that are common duringthe later years of life, is a major issue of concern. The articleshares experiences of many older people regarding their inability tocover for their medication costs. Despite the fact that Michael’smother having been employed for most of her life, the family had tostep in to help cover her medical expenses for her extended stay inthe hospital. Moreover, there is the lack of comprehensive andequitable medical schemes. This predicament cuts across many familiesand may be worse for low-income workers. The situation is aggravatedby the meager contribution of insurance firms towards their clients`medical fees (only 5000 USD per year). Therefore, the burden ofcovering for the medical expenses is placed on the family,threatening their sustainability.
TheMoral Dilemma: To Implement the Physician Assisted Suicide or Let HimLive
Inaddition, different healthcare moral dilemmas are evident in thearticle. The most outstanding dilemma is whether to let the patientlive and incur the various healthcare costs amidst the highuncertainty of recovery, or invoke the physician-assisted suicide.Clearly, the doctor and family are not sure the patient could make itbecause of her worsening conditions. This situation is complicated bythe fact that the patient is suffering from different conditionswhose treatment could aggravate other conditions. For instance, thetreatment of seizure was found to be destroying the patients’ brainand, to some degree, invited the question of whether to make suchtreatments or not. Besides, operations were also risky. The objectionto carrying out surgery on Van rests on the idea that Van was proneand unstable and that the surgery would worsen her current condition.The problem of lack of specific drugs for different mental conditionswas also evident.
TheLack of Equitable Access to Patient-Centered Healthcare and Defendingthe Population Against What Threatens Its Health
Thearticle outlines the struggles of older people in efforts to accesshealthcare. The elderly are faced with a myriad of problems that areescalated by the lack of funds to cover their medical expenses.Besides, more elderly patients require close attention and help whenthey are affected by conditions that lead to total incapacitation asin the case of Van. Despite these needs, there is a lack of soundmedical cover for older persons against conditions that threatentheir life. Besides, there is also a shortage of health services forolder-person centered medical services. In the end, the parties arecompelled to withdraw medication amidst the access challenge.Therefore, healthcare cover for the elderly is not equitable.
Howto Solve the Issues
Accordingto the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics Provision 3, thenurses are expected to promote, advocate for, and protect the health,safety, and rights of the patient. All medical professionals pledgeto observe the code of ethics at all costs (American MedicalAssociation, 2017). Various decisions that were made by doctorscontravened the code of ethics. For instance, withdrawal ofmedication and carrying out surgery on Van when progressive signs ofdementia were positive might have caused Van’s death. The doctorand the neurologist should have acted in a manner that would haveincreased Van’s chances of staying alive rather than giving up.
Thearticle indicates the devastating mental conditions among older andthe significant financial implications of the healthcare service.Besides, the number of older persons is expected to rise to 19million by 2050. It is clear that the healthcare system lacks soundmedical cover programs for the projected increase metal conditionsthat are supposed to rise proportionally with the population. Thefamily is forced to withdraw medication for Van due to the heftyhospital bill. The lack of comprehensive and equitable medical andinsurance schemes has contributed significantly to the poorhealthcare services for older persons (Futility, 2014). Specialmedical and insurance programs should be developed to provide coverfor the elderly who are affected by multiple health conditions suchas cancer, dementia, heart attack and seizures, which are veryexpensive to treat. Based on the expected increase in the populationof older persons in the United States to about 19 billion by 2050,timely interventions should be put in place earlier than later. Onthe issue of professional ethics, medical professionals are expectedto uphold the ANA code of ethics by protecting, advocating, andpromoting the rights, safety, and health of patients (AmericanMedical Association, 2017).
Thearticle outlines the various struggles that older people withdifferent mental conditions face. It is clear that there is a lack ofequitable access to healthcare. Despite Van spending most of her lifeworking in media and other top institutions in the United States,while holding senior positions, her insurance cover was not able tocover her medical expenses. Older patients are retired and havedifferent problems ranging from lack of funds to close attention.Healthcare systems should put in place suitable schemes that arepatient-centered to cater for the needs of the patients (Futility,2014 American College of Healthcare Executives, 2016).
Inconclusion, the purpose of this paper was to explore different issuesaffecting healthcare, touching on professional ethics, quality, andequitable access to healthcare. It is clear that health system lacksthe comprehensive medical and insurance schemes to provide cover forolder patients, whose population has been increasing over decades.Various dilemmas are also encountered in the article. Examples ofthese dilemmas include whether to invoke physician suicide or not,improving access to health care for older patients, addressing end oflife conditions, and resource management. Healthcare serviceproviders should strictly follow due course of the ethics code andmaintain integrity at all costs, while policymakers should developpolicies to address the areas of weaknesses. The cost for healthcareservices should be harmonized to make it affordable for people of allbackgrounds.
AmericanCollege of Healthcare Executives (2016). Decisionsnear the end of life.Retrieved from https://www.ache.org/policy/endoflif.cfm
AmericanMedical Association (2017). AMACode of Medical Ethics.Retrieved fromhttps://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ama-code-medical-ethicsFutility,B. M., (2014)Autonomy, and Cost in End-of-life Care. J.Law Med. Ethics,39, 172–182.
Wolff,M. (2012). ALife Worth Ending.Retrieved fromhttp://nymag.com/print/?/news/features/parent-health-care-2012-5/
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