Ethical Issues and the Signature Assignment
Due to the fact that the healthcare industry has a certain charge over life and death decisions, pain, nutrition, and other areas of intimate concern for all human life, the ethical issues involved in the delivery of healthcare are proportionately serious and deserve attention. Most major public policy ethical issues are based on the distinction between rights and utility. The latter is based on a cost-benefit analysis where the minimum standard of care is meant to be spread over the widest possible area. In this case, it is consequences that matter. On the other hand, a rights-based approach holds that each individual has a right to the care they need at any given time. In this approach, the rights of the individual, not the whole, matter. The moral center in the rights based approach is that consequences do not matter as much than respecting the rights of the individual. Putting this distinction differently, the utilitarian approach stresses the good of the whole, while the rights-based approach stresses the autonomy of the individual. Therefore, many healthcare organizations find themselves conducting a delicate balance between rights and utility (Andersen, Rice, & Kominski, 2007).
In addition, healthcare organizations and providers face several potential issues. For example, some argue that the current healthcare system forces providers into a terrible situation in which they become “double agents,” forced to care for patients, but only within the parameters established by insurance companies (Andersen, Rice, & Kominski, 2007). If the patient is to receive all they need, is the doctor forced to manipulate data to ensure coverage? Will following health insurance guidelines to the letter harm patients, leaving doctors open to lawsuits?
Week 7 Assignment: Reflect on Ethical Issues in the Healthcare Setting