Bio-ethics can be described as a biological science that studies the degree of judgment concerning human actions and those other actions related to medicine. In the context of managed care, ethics is the examination of conflicts of values and rules representing conflicting interest each presenting their reasonable position (Edwards & Graber 1988). The health care industry consists of a variety of organizations providing healthcare to a vast majority of people. It is among the largest industries in the United States of America.
Healthcare providers on the other hand consist of clinicians and non-clinician personnel providing the medical services and are identified to be the main figures in the healthcare industry. Bioethical issues in the Healthcare Industry Just like many other countries of the world, the American citizens face a number of bio-ethical issues namely: physician assisted suicide, abortion, cloning, racial barriers to access health, and disparities in medical treatment as a result of racial discrimination just to mention. This has resulted into distrust and fear of abuse and mistreatment amongst the citizens especially patients.
In my discussion, I have selected the pacific healthcare organization, Inc, (PHCO) of the United States of America. This organization consists of networks of medical providers throughout the USA, and it consists thousands of healthcare providers. The bio-ethical issues of concern to the healthcare providers of the above organization that I am going to discuss include: the issue of physician addicted suicide, abortion, cloning, inaccessibility to healthcare facilities and disparities in medical treatment as a result of racial discrimination.
Pacific Healthcare Organization
It is of great concern that the above organization looks into these bio-ethical issues with urgency. Cloning is a bio-ethical issue that has sparked a lot of controversies around the world resulting into mass demonstrations as there are mixed reactions, some supporting it while others opposing. It can be well remembered that on February 23, 1997, a Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut from Raslin Institute and PPL therapeutics declared that they had cloned a lamb from an adult sheep and named it Dolly.
This created an outcry around the world some supporting while others questioning the degree of moral ethics involved (Tong, 2006). Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is another bio-ethical issue that continues to generate fury worldwide. Is it ethical to perform suicide? This is a debate issue that we normally experience today on the streets as well as watch in televisions. Physician assisted suicide as referred to those who support it is the right to die. In this case, patients who are terminally ill and other serious complications are administered drugs to end their own lives with their consent.
A physician supplies the means of committing suicide either through prescription of a lethal dose of sleeping pills or supplies carbon-monoxide gas so that the persons can end their own lives. However, the media has reported several cases concerning patients who have been killed against their will. The more recent case occurred in a German count on June 30, 2007 where a nurse was jailed for life over five murders at a major Berlin hospital where she worked. Whether assisted suicide is ethical or immoral is still an issue of argument and both sides have been able to give their justified reasons.
Abortion on the other hand is also an issue of concern. Abortion involves the removal of a fetus from the womb of its mother before maturity hence killing the fetus. Initially abortion was prescribed for only those patients with major complications, for instance when a mother’s health is at risk such that only one life can be saved, either that of the mother or the baby. Abortion is illegal if at all a person undertakes it with no justifiable reasons. It is therefore important that physicians of this organization do not break their code of ethics by performing abortion illegally.
Pacific Healthcare Organization, Inc. (PHCO) should also look into the bio-ethical issue of racial barriers in accessing health facilities and services that are experienced by a number of patients in America. Everybody has their right to access medical health and hence it is against morality to prejudice people according to the colour of their skin. This also applies to disparities in medical treatment as a result of racial discrimination that is often experienced in some healthcare facilities.
To resolve bio-ethical issues discussed above, the persons concerned in the healthcare professions should take time and looked deeply into the matter and find out ways that could improve its services and delivery to the community. A code of ethics needs to be set up and the healthcare providers need to strictly adhere to the rules and obligations required. It is also vital that a health plan is drafted in order to lessen competing corporate and other medical obligation by establishing ethical rules and guidelines.
These guidelines should be able to intervene these conflicting interests. By setting up a code of ethics in the organization, medical practitioners will be accountable and service delivery will be improved. They will also be able to carry out their duties as professionals. References Edwards, B. & Graber, C. (1988). Bio-ethics. Wadsworth Publishing, ISBN 978-0155054202. Tong, R. , (2006). New Perspectives in Healthcare Ethics: An Interdisciplinary and Cross Cultural Approach. Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-030613479.