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Antimicrobial Resistance: Scope, Cause, and Ethics

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Please look at topics to choose from. I was thinking about the overuse of antibiotics.

Choose 1 contemporary health care issue that has not been previously analyzed in a discussion question or Individual Project where legal and ethical considerations are oppositional. Some examples include:
- Late term abortion
- Assisted suicide
- Medical treatment for the elderly or terminally ill
- Donor organ harvesting and transplantation

- Identify and evaluate the relevant ethical and legal factors that are inherent in the chosen issue.
- Research and analyze any high visibility cases in the public domain that pertain to the chosen issue, and present key findings.
- Identify and explain the impact of at least 3 state or federal laws that are relevant to the issue.
- Present a summary of the impact of the issue based on available decision-making options from the provider, patient, and administrator perspectives.

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I have included many references and attached files to help you complete this assignment. From the information included you should have no trouble creating a 5-7 page paper. I have used material that is pertinent to your chosen topic of antibiotic overuse.

The World Health Organization has deemed antimicrobial resistance one of three top priorities. Since the introduction of antibiotics many life-threatening diseases have been halted. Bacteria once deadly were rendered harmless and killed with the introduction of penicillin. Since then numerous antibiotics have been developed to treat specific bacteria or as broad-spectrum antibiotics to kill groups of bacteria. Unfortunately, what started as a powerful lifesaver has now created life-threatening organisms.

Overtime bacteria adapt to the drugs used to destroy infections. Initially, the development of new and stronger or more effective antibiotics was ongoing. This gave multiple options to treat the same organisms. In the last few decades fewer new antibiotics have been developed, limiting new options in treatment. This coupled with overuse of existing antibiotics has created the rising resistant organism crisis.

People have come to expect a medication as an outcome of seeking medical attention. In some instances medication is not really required to treat the condition. Viruses for example are not impacted by antibiotics and typically run a course of 7-10 days before natural destruction occurs. There are some viruses that this does not apply to such as HIV, Ebola and others. For the sake of this discussion cold, flu, bronchial, sinus affected virus, etc. are being referenced. In recent years, research has shown not all cases of Otis media (ear infection) are bacterial needing an antibiotic.

Still years of constant prescribing of antibiotics for non-bacterial infections have occurred. This is a global problem that continues to escalate. That has set the stage for organisms to adapt and become resistant to antibiotic therapies. This is why we are seeing an upsurge of "superbugs" creating costly chaos in healthcare.

Drug resistance is an ethical issue due to the fact it is a man made phenomena. The over prescribing and overuse of antibiotics has lead to bacteria becoming resistant to currently available antibiotics. Part of the problem has stemmed from the history of disease. At one point in time people were dying from simple bacteria infections. These infections lead to the discovery, and development of antibiotics to treat bacteria conditions. Overtime, antibiotics came to be viewed as the "cure-all" for health related conditions. A placebo effect was created when physicians began prescribing antibiotics as preventatives. An example of this has been seen in children. It may only be a cold (virus that an antibiotic cannot affect) but a prescription was written for an antibiotic to "keep it from becoming more serious."

Here is the first ethical issue. Should a doctor prescribe a drug when it will not be effective? Antibiotics work only on bacteria, not viruses. When prescribing antibiotics as a placebo multiple ethical issues come into play. Giving a patient psychological relief through the use of antibiotics can still be health hazardous to a patient's health. A study conducted by Kerman et al. found that 56% of physicians reported using placebos in clinical practice (Kerman ...

Solution Summary

Antibiotic overuse has contributed to a rapidly growing crisis. This crisis is the development of antimicrobial organisms. This document looks at the multifaceted dimensions of this issue.