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Ethical Issues



Medical practices are one of the most significant services in the world which can save life of a person. As for this reason, some ethical practices need to be incorporated in the healthcare practices in hospitals and care homes. These practices include the non-mal-efficiencies, beneficence and justified works along with a value oriented treatments to patients in any situation. In the current study, the lack of these ethical practices among a hospital is highlighted which led to death of a student.

Identification of ethical issues

The main ethical issue is the selection of patients. According to Bromley et al. (2015), any healthcare professionals are not liable to choose a specific group or individual patients for their treatment in any circumstances. Congress (2017) supported and commented that, this strategy is known as “Cherry picking and lemon dropping” practices which can be noticed in various hospitals and healthcare homes. In case of Amos also, due to the insufficiency of medical aids and medicines in the hospital, the nurses and physicians have decided to provide treatment to only the pupil who leave in school. As opined by Faden et al. (2014), any kind of person cannot be discriminated in the healthcare settings by the professionals. In spite of this, the doctors did not manage to fill up the scarcity of medicine which was the duty of hospital.

According to the healthcare ethical code for practice, a patient can easily choose their preferred doctors but the doctors are not supposed to choose their patients by means of any term. On the contrary Lachman (2015) argued that, another healthcare ethical issue is balancing quality and efficiency of care in any condition. Due to the rapid proliferation of cholera among the students, it is quite obvious that a scarcity of place and medicine is going to arise. Thus, it is the duty of the hospital and their professionals to overcome the situation by taking effective measures. However, the nurses and doctors have breached the ethics and stopped providing treatment to the patients (nahq.org, 2018).

Analysis of ethical issues

Human dignity:

Commonly the human dignity refers to the status of a person. In this case of Amos, the human dignity in healthcare has been breached by the hospital authorities and healthcare professionals. As opined by Liyanage et al. (2016), with the help of dignity a person can find the chance of survival in severe health condition. Being a patient of Cholera, Amos was needed an intrinsic treatment in an emergency situation which has not been provided by the hospital authority. Thus, in this way the human dignity issue has arisen in this situation.

Along with this, the ethical dilemma has also come when the authority of hospital has made the statement for providing treatment only to the residential students of the school. According to Nguyen, Zavoretti & Tronto (2017), the bioethics in a healthcare provision refers to the engagement of social ethics and human rights. Thus, in case of a serious patient like Amaos, a proper cholera treatment was needed in order to control the dehydration process. However, in spite of being cholera patient he had to travel for a long distance to reach his house. This has caused a massive health issue and as a result he died. The acceptability in a healthcare organisation is mostly unbiased which was not found in the concerned hospital.

Human rights:

The human rights in healthcare focus on the treatment and protection for all with the help of public goods, public finance support and equability. Thus, in case of Amos, every single aspect has been breached by the healthcare professionals. According to Post & Blustein (2015), in any healthcare system the availability of healthcare products and care are universal which can be obtained by any people. Hence, in case of Amos, the quality of healthcare treatment has also been breached as they have refused to provide treatment to Amos in a severe condition. Thus, the human rights of medical ethics have not been followed which resulted in the death of the person. As for this reason, various countries such as Australia, the US and the UK have taken legislative initiatives in order to stop this kind of ethical discrepancy in healthcare sector (medicalassistantcertification.org, 2018).

As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), any healthcare professional who breach their duties and ethical practices in their professional field are to be punished by their professional field. According to Sinclair et al. (2016), an effective healthcare providing organisation emphasises on their quality of care for their patients. However, in case of Amos, the healthcare professionals have overlooked the human rights approach and refused to treat him. This is a serious human rights breaching offense that have been committed by the professionals and which resulted in the death of Amos.

Professional codes of ethics:

In case of Amos, the treatment has not been provided at the hospital authority and has found insufficiency of medication. According to Tarzian, Social & ASBH Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs Committee (2015), the major professional commitments for a healthcare professional is the safety of patients. In this case, knowing the fact Amos is suffering from a severe stage of dehydration due to the prevalence of cholera, the professionals refuse to take care of him. Not only this, but they have also denied to refer him to another hospital.

If the hospital authority arranges the travel to another hospital, the death of Amos could be prevented. On the contrary Wells et al. (2016) argued that, the main aim of a healthcare professional to provide the patient a safe environment of care with a minimal defect and high reliability to the patients is possible. It has been noticed that, about 30% of the hospital and healthcare facility organisations around the world practices illicit and mismanagement in their professional field which is needed to be eradicated (health.wa, 2018). Thus, in case of Amos, a tremendous unprofessionalism has been raised by the nurses and doctors. Along with them the organisation has also created an issue in professional healthcare ethics by containing insufficient amount of medicine in the hospital.

Legislations and policies:

In case of Amnos, various legislations and policies can be effective in both national and international level. As per the statement of Clinical Ethics Committee (CEC), this kind of refusal is a punishable offence in any circumstances. This committee is also highlighting on the fact of misusing medicine and tools by the professionals as those are strictly meant for the public. On the other hand, as per the Public Health Act 2016, the treatment of Amos was to be done in the hospital, and in case of insufficiency of medicine, the hospital can arrange the treatment of him in other medical centres. Along with this, as per the National Health Act 1953, the supply and storage of medicine in a healthcare organisation must be enough to handle any emergency situation. According to Bromley et al. (2015), if any healthcare organisation breaches these duties, the healthcare commission of the country can take effective action against that organisation and against the concerned professional person in order to breach the law. In case of Amos, his family can take legal action for the death as the only reason of his death is the irresponsibility and healthcare ethics breaching in humanity ground. 

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