Discussion 7. Ethics

My course is Ethics of Healthcare – Master of Health Administration.

a. Directly posting their own responses as answers to the questions below. Write in no more than 600 words but no less than 500 words.

Suppose that you are a member of ethics committee in your hospital and just reviewed the case that a baby with a severe brain malfunction was born and a decision should be made whether the committee allows the doctor to withdraw fluids and nutrition. What steps do you recommend that the hospital staff including the doctors, nurses, and social workers to follow?

Answer the following questions based on your own evaluation, a. Who uses health care the most frequently in America? b. What is the most expensive care in America among primary/preventive care or critical/emergency care or geriatric care? c. How much does medical treatment contribute to the quality and length of life? Then, answer what is the most urgent problem that we need to fix in your opinion?

Suppose you have decided that spirituality does have a place in healthcare practice. What arguments would you make to the CEO for increasing opportunities for spirituality in your hospital?

My classmate Discussion:

  1. With such an unfortunate event, the steps that should be followed would reflect on what the parent’s decision is. As a doctor, I would evaluate the stability, and likelihood of the baby living or analyze how much time the baby has to live. From the doctor’s evaluation, this would then need to be presented to the nurses and social workers to find the pros and cons to present to the parents for them to make a fair unbiased decision on what they should do that would impact their lives forever. The only thing that doctors can do is everything in their power to give the medical support the baby needs, the nurses need to make sure the parents are stable physically and mentally and the social workers need to ensure the parents are being dealt with in an ethical, and moral standard. The baby’s fate is ultimately up to the parents only, any other professional advice should be taken in and considered, but not a definite to change other’s mind’s.
  2. The population that mostly uses healthcare is geriatrics and pediatric patients due to both needing constant continuum of care with follow ups bi-weekly, monthly or semiannually to make sure their conditions or treatments are up to date whether it is prescription wise or preventative care. Unfortunately, those who mostly use healthcare services is a part of the geriatric population with the most rapidly growing costs due to the rise in chronic care. In addition to providing more care, the costs of medicine and specialty services is adding onto the total rising costs. The amount of medical treatment versus the amount of times a treatment is needed contributes to the quality and length of life. There could be severe cases that need more attention and frequent medical office visits, versus those who have a onetime case that turns into an incurable disease. In which does not translate to “the more medical treatments the better”. As much as preventative care needs to be focused on, the accessibility needs to be fixed in this country, but seems to have the obstacle of financial stability that puts it at a halt.

The arguments that would be brought upon the CEO in order to increase opportunities for spirituality in the hospital that we work in is the uplifting moral that would set the tone of the hospital. By presenting this idea of not only being my own, but by creating a community based on specific spirituality beliefs in order to establish an accepting environment for everyone would be comforting for many and not just myself. Especially if I am a professional which feels the need to bring this subject matter to the work place, it means that something is missing emotionally, culturally and community wide in the organization between colleagues and those who partake in the hospital. Many believe spirituality should be put aside in a healthcare setting, but it can bring mental peace to those who are unsettled in their mental state or even physical state. It is a matter of allowing others to feel accepted versus segregated based off their beliefs and who they look up to as a higher in the universe.

Answer:

As a member of the ethics committee in a hospital, the case of a baby with severe brain malfunction presents a complex and sensitive situation. Here are the steps I recommend for the hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, and social workers, to follow:

  1. Evaluation by Doctors: The medical team should conduct a thorough evaluation of the baby’s condition, prognosis, and potential treatment options. This evaluation should consider the severity of the brain malfunction and the likelihood of the baby’s survival.
  2. Consultation with Nurses: Nurses play a crucial role in providing care and support to both the baby and the parents. They should be involved in discussions about the baby’s condition and the implications of different treatment options. Nurses can also provide emotional support to the parents during this difficult time.
  3. Involvement of Social Workers: Social workers can help facilitate communication between the medical team and the parents. They should assess the parents’ understanding of the situation, their values, and their preferences regarding medical care for their baby. Social workers can also provide resources and support to help the parents make informed decisions.
  4. Presentation of Options to Parents: After gathering all relevant information and perspectives, the medical team should present the options to the parents in a clear and compassionate manner. This should include a discussion of the potential benefits and risks of continuing treatment versus withdrawing fluids and nutrition.
  5. Respect for Parental Autonomy: Ultimately, the decision about whether to withdraw fluids and nutrition should be made by the parents, in consultation with the medical team. It is important to respect the parents’ autonomy and support them in making a decision that aligns with their values and wishes for their baby.

Regarding the questions posed: a. In America, the population that uses healthcare most frequently includes geriatrics and pediatric patients. They require continuous care and follow-ups to manage chronic conditions and ensure optimal health outcomes.

b. The most expensive care in America tends to be critical/emergency care, especially for conditions requiring intensive interventions and hospitalizations.

c. While medical treatment can contribute significantly to the quality and length of life, the effectiveness of treatment depends on various factors, including the type and severity of the condition, access to healthcare, and individual health behaviors. Preventative care plays a crucial role in improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs in the long run.

In my opinion, the most urgent problem that needs to be addressed is improving access to preventative care. Many individuals, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, face barriers to accessing preventive services due to financial constraints and lack of healthcare infrastructure. By increasing access to preventative care and promoting early intervention, we can prevent the progression of diseases and reduce the need for costly emergency interventions.

Regarding spirituality in healthcare practice, I would advocate to the CEO for increasing opportunities for spirituality in the hospital based on the potential benefits for patients, staff, and the overall hospital environment. Incorporating spirituality can provide emotional and psychological support to patients facing illness and adversity, improve coping mechanisms, and foster a sense of community and belonging among staff and patients. Additionally, addressing spiritual needs can contribute to holistic patient care and enhance patient satisfaction with their healthcare experience. By recognizing the importance of spirituality in healthcare practice, the hospital can demonstrate a commitment to providing patient-centered care that addresses the diverse needs of individuals.

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