Report on Health care Ethics

 

Report on  health care ethics.

Health Care Ethics

1.    It is indeed very difficult to combine the consequentialist ethics with that of the ethics based on duty, principles and/or rights. Based on the readings, we can convincingly derive that the consequentialist approach takes into consideration the moral rightness of an act holds whether an act is morally right depends only on the consequences of that particular act ("Consequentialism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy", n.d.). That is, the more good consequences an act produces, the better or more right that act, therefore, it tells us that a person should choose the action that maximizes good consequences. The maximizing approach of consequentialism promotes two concepts: utilitarianism (maximizing human welfare) and Hedonism (maximizing human pleasure). Whereas, the ethics based on duty and principles, which are also called as deontological ethics, stress on the fact that fidelity to principle and duty are the most important factors. Deontology was developed by Immanuel Kant and he believed that the consequences of an actions do not matter. What matters is that the act itself is right, that one does one's duty. The deontological theory is further based on upholding an individual's human or legal rights, such as the rights to privacy and ownership of property (Alexander & Moore, 2007).
As per the medical example provided in the readings, Mrs. McMurtry told the surgeon neither tell her husband nor their family physician about the fact that her husband has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Now, if we apply the two ethical theories to this case then we can say as per the consequentialism that if no objection reveals any need for anything beyond consequences, then consequences alone seem to determine what is morally right or wrong. Therefore, if by not telling husband of Mrs. McMurtry and the physician, the surgeon is convinced that it would be better for the former to stay positive with his family, then consequentialist approach would be more appropriate in this case. On the other hand, from the deontological perspective, it is the moral right and duty of the surgeon to let the husband know about his illness because even if he tells or not, he, as per his experience, knows the consequences. So, in this situation, the deontological approach would be more appropriate. 
If I would be given a choice, I would choose to follow the consequentialist approach because as per my understanding, the main duty of the doctor was to ensure the well-being of the patient. So, if by not telling anyone about the matter makes the family of the patient happy and close to him, then it would be the best option. 
2.    ‘Autonomy’ is an ethical principle being studied in nursing practices. According to it, individuals have a right to self-determination, i.e. to make decisions about their lives without getting interfered from others. Autonomy has both a descriptive and a prescriptive aspect, and the two are interrelated. Descriptively, autonomy is the capacity for self-governance. Prescriptively, respect for autonomy means (at least) not interfering with persons’ control over their own lives and (perhaps) taking active steps to facilitate such control (Yeo & Moorehouse, 2010).
Insofar the interstate nursing practice is concerned, there are some ethical issues that are raised when applying this principle. These issues in terms of autonomy are whether nurses who work and live in the states where they are legally given substantial autonomy to carry out their practice feel ethically violated when their autonomy has been has been decreased by the laws applicable in other states. On the other hand, if the nurses are given the limited legal autonomy, could make highly autonomous decisions in order to dispense safe care. If these nurses do not feel prepared, will their right to refuse care (an autonomous decision) be honored as long as the patient is not abandoned? On the other hand, would the patient's right to refuse care be respected equally among the inter-compact states? 
Secondly, in terms of the societal level, the nursing profession has been given the right to regulate its own practice as far as exchange for dispensing professional services are concerned. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that the society has made nurses empowered to be autonomous about matters related to nursing. So, the questions which arise here are will interstate nursing practice strengthen this commitment to society as nurses working across state lines increasingly respect each other's autonomy? Will this increased respect result in better communication among nurses and the public they serve?  

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References

Alexander, L. & Moore, M. (2007). Deontological Ethics. Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/
Consequentialism | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Iep.utm.edu. Retrieved 24 May 2016, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/conseque/
Yeo, M. & Moorehouse, A. (2010). Concepts and Cases in Nursing Ethics

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