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    Ethical issues in public health and health services

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    You are being asked to consider ethical issues in public health and health services. Using course materials, the Internet, and your Cybrary you are to choose one of the following questions:
    What tensions exist between protection of the public's health and protection of individual rights?

    How should scarce health resources be allocated and used?

    What should the balance be between expenditures and quality of life in the case of chronic and terminal illness?

    What are appropriate limits on using expensive medical technology?

    What obligations do health care insurers and health care providers have in meeting the right-to-know of patients as consumers?

    What responsibility exists for the young to finance health care for older persons?

    What obligation exists for government to protect the most vulnerable sectors of society?

    Is health care a right or privilege in the United States?

    While there are no right answers to these questions, it is necessary to be able to support your position with evidence, link medical ethics to your answer when appropriate, and cite the sources that you use in addressing the question you select.

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    Solution Preview

    How should scarce health resources be allocated and used?

    comment to student: The information below has been extracted from the following link. It is very comprehensive and should adress your complete questions regarding the above mentioned question.

    Source: http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic8/topic8_5.htm

    Health resources should be allocated and used on the basis of the following criterios:

    Need: While the concept of need may appear to be a useful criterion, most patient situations (those NOT involving strictly elective procedures) involve a known medical need for treatment or service. This is complicated by the fact that individuals may perceive need differently than their professional providers or health plans. When providers advocate for an individual, the professional justification of need may be conflicted. Thus, this may not be the best criterion to base allocation decisions that impact the individual, the organization or society. Indeed, if allocation decisions were based on individual need alone, the finite resources of an organization or health system would be rapidly depleted. Once depleted, the consequences are predictable and both socially and clinically unacceptable.

    Equity: The concept of equity sounds relevant and useful; however, it rarely serves well as an effective criterion for allocating health care resources. For example, in any health plan, organization or society, there will be a wide range of demand for services ranging from individuals who require few health care services to those who ...

    Solution Summary

    Health resources should be allocated and used on the basis of these criterias.