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Ethical Health Care Issues

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1. Describe a current ethical health care issue such as the following: transplant allocation; refusal of care, such as a blood transfusion; patient non-compliance with treatment; biomedical research; patient dumping; compliance with new health care requirements; and so on.

2. Examine and evaluate how each of the four major ethical principles can be applied to this issue.

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In the last decade, the debate over the ethics of organ and transplant allocation has intensified and the attention sensationalized in the media. At the core of this issue critical questions remain. They include but are not limited to those regarding economics, race, geographic inequity and about the moral relevance and weight of geography, economics, and other disparities and inequities in transplant allocation (Stanford University, 2012). Transplant allocation raises questions regarding the four of the basic major ethical principles of medical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-maleficence. As such, bioethicists typically refer to the four principles of health care ethics in their evaluation of the merits and difficulties of medical procedures such as transplants. With regards to issue of transplant allocation, the four ethical principles can be applied to the issue in the following ways:

Autonomy
The principle of autonomy involves the patient having 'a voice', ownership, autonomy of thought, action, intention and a level of advocacy when making decisions regarding their health care procedures. As such, and as it relates to transplant allocation, the decision-making process should and must be free of coercion or coaxing( of all involved and even the families of deceased individuals)(Robertson, 2005; SU, 2012). In order for a patient and for families to make educated and fully informed decision, they must understand all risks and benefits of the allocation and the actual transplant procedure as well as the likelihood for success, especially since the process can illicit intense emotions, financial and physical set-backs(SU, 2012).

Beneficence
This principle stipulates that the transplant ...

Solution Summary

The expert describes a current ethical health care issue. The expert evaluates how each of the four major ethical principles which can be applied to the issue.

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