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Ethical Dilemma Examples
The healthcare industry involves the application of medical technologies and services dedicated towards the maintenance or betterment of human health. Thus it is imperative that medical practices must always be sync with the accepted medical, ethical and legal standards, and are in no way exposed to compromises of any kind.
Since the industry is catering to something as delicate and as valuable as human life, ethical dealings are of critical importance, and every decision that is made by a health care professional must be given careful and fair consideration. However, the ever-changing world of medical science in the US often faces what is termed as an ‘ethical dilemma’. Under such circumstances, medical practitioners have to refer to precedents and come up with solutions that best answer the particular problem at hand. Ethical issues surface when a patient refuses treatment, or a doctor exercises his right to not disclosing full information, or when a family makes a decision on behalf of a patient who is not in a condition to do so.
There are two such ethical issues that are currently seen in the healthcare industry. One is the ‘Patient Bill of Right and the Right to Refuse/Accept Treatment Based on an Informed Decision’. Practiced by the AHA or the American Hospital Association, this says that a patient has an entitlement to know what the consequences will be of making a decision for his treatment, and thus, can refuse treatment. The ethical issue that arises in such cases is whether the patient is capable enough to make this decision for himself. The other one is the ‘Physicians and the Pharmaceutical Companies-Patient vs. Business Interest’. This happens when pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners put their business interests before their prime responsibility, i.e., to safeguard human health.
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