Introduction to PHI-413V: Ethical and Spiritual Decision Making in Health Care.
PHI-413V: ethical and spiritual decision-making in the health care course introduces a Christian foundation for spiritual assessment and care with specific emphasis on biomedical ethical principles and ethical decision-making within nursing practice. Learners practice assessment and propose holistic interventions that take into account the dignity of the human person. These assessments and interventions contribute to the physical and spiritual well-being of individuals across the life span and the health-illness continuum.
What are the five ethical issues in healthcare?
1. Do not resuscitate orders.
A Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order is written by a doctor and it teaches healthcare providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a patient stops breathing or if their heart stops beating. The DNR doesn’t have instructions for any other treatment and can only be permitted after a physician speaks with the patient. Ethical concerns can arise when it’s not clear if a patient was capacitated to choose a DNR. In addition, hospital administrators should consider that CPR can sometimes worsen preexisting conditions. In such cases, questioning if the degree of pain is worth the benefits can help professionals navigate severe situations that involve life or death.
2. Doctor and patient confidentiality.
According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), violating a patient’s confidentiality can have legal and ethical consequences for healthcare providers. The act requires physicians to protect the privacy and security of a patient’s medical records. HIPPA also sets forth who can see the confidential information and who cannot. Despite the law’s straightforwardness, there are some gray areas.
3. Malpractice and negligence.
According to a study published in the BMJ journal, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Despite the decreasing rate of malpractice suits, patients who are affected by it may never recover. For others, it may take years. Moreover, the high-risk nature of the healthcare atmosphere can increase the likelihood of malpractice. Administrators, as well as physicians and nurses, must cover the important tasks of patient care to avoid lawsuits. In the case of hospitals, ordinary negligence can be due to defective medical equipment, a misdiagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis.
Sometimes conditions can come up in unusual ways that wouldn’t make sense unless a doctor was looking for the symptoms. Lines can be blurred when doctors disagree about procedures or necessary tests to provide accurate treatment. In cancer cases, a diagnosis can be challenging to prove, as there is a possibility that cancer would have progressed the same way regardless of when doctors started a treatment.
4. Access to care.
Despite access to healthcare insurance by most people, Americans without coverage face difficulties when accessing medical services. With the increase in healthcare resource demands, financial costs that cover the resources are very high, and hospitals weigh down the price. Therefore, emergency departments across the U.S. offer high prices for a routine medical service that doesn’t require complex treatment.
On the other hand, the report found that also insured patients can be affected too. Health administrators justify bill rises based on the need for a high quality of healthcare. Thus, healthcare institutions should prioritize efforts to decrease prices and administrative costs if the profits are not worth the burden. Moreover, also World Health Organization recommends that it’s allowed to shield people from health-related financial risks, too. This recommendation, as well as the debate of affordability and access, brings difficult questions that institutions and healthcare providers must circumnavigate.
5. Physician-assisted suicide.
This is the act of deliberately killing oneself with the aid of someone who has the knowledge to do so. In the most basic sense, the only person fully qualified to participate in the process is a physician.