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AIDS and Morals in Health Care Practice
(Here's how I would start-with some headings for clarity, viewpoints, background info, etc.)
Professional Duties and Obligations
Before entering the health care profession, individuals must agree to a certain set of 'code of ethics', some of which are encoded in the law, and define what it means, and what is expected from a health care professional. The codes stipulate and present the guidelines and expectations of conduct before they are designated in health care professions. As such, there are core values, professional-ethical responsibility and obligatory duties involved. Such duties are assumed to their patients, employers, colleagues, and the general public, and are often reiterated and supported by specific and individual professional associations, organizations through their mission, and policy statements(Singer, 1993). To this end, it seems natural and reasonable that such core values, and the code of ethics agreed upon through bioethics, and the health care professions' underlie the rights and the responsibilities of health care professionals (Sonfield, 2005). However, this can be rather complex.
For many decades policymakers have been embroiled in a hot debate regarding the refusal to provide health care and related services or information on the basis of moral or religious grounds. For example, in 2004, the United States and its policy makers dealt with the issue of pharmacists who were belligerent regarding their decision and convictions to not dispense emergency contraceptives including but not limited to the 'morning after pill' (Sonfield, 2005). Similarly, even though health care professionals are usually more knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS than the general public, still many, because of their own biases and prejudices, upbringing, religious and moral beliefs and stance, refuse to, and would rather not attend to, those infected with the disease.
The History of Shame and Stigma Associated with HIV/AIDS
On one hand, because of the ignorance, fear, taboo and stigma attached to the disease, those infected face many challenges, extreme prejudice, discrimination, and are often treated as 'second class citizens'. Shame, anger, frustration and other HIV/AIDS-related discrimination and stigma often prevent individuals from receiving adequate support and treatment they so desperately seek and need to help cope with the ravishes of the disease. Many individuals do not seek help for fear of anyone discovering their status. Poor treatment and lack of respect discourage them from visiting clinics and medical facilities. While rare, there have been cases involving anger from having the disease, the lack of and refusal of adequate treatment, education and support and knowledge about managing and living ...
The following posting discusses the health care profession's legal and moral stands on AIDS and health care practice.