Good Research Paper On Ethical Issues In Healthcare
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Healthcare practitioners in the present day healthcare system face a myriad of dilemmas. The advances in technology and research in health issues facilitates new solutions to problems previously thought impossible. The public receives these solutions differently, they accept some while they reject others. The criterion of accepting or rejecting solutions has its basis on ethical standards. Ethics refers to a body of life principles and moral standards that direct the society when approaching the decision making process. Ethics is the moral calipers of what is right and what is wrong. It therefore follows that an ethical issue in healthcare is a situation that needs one to choose between competing choices based on what the society regards as right or wrong. For each of the choices, there are consequences and therefore making the choice is a delicate matter. Some of the issues that present medical practitioners with competing choices are abortion, in vitro fertilization and organ donation.
Abortion is a medical procedure that involves the termination of the life of the developing fetus before the completion of the gestation period. In some cases, doctors perform the abortion procedure to save the life of the mother if the continuation of the pregnancy to full term poses a risk to the mother. On the other side, a mother can decide to choose abortion for a myriad of reasons other than medical issues. Some of the non-medical reasons why people choose abortions include if the baby will interfere with the school or job schedule, if the pregnancy was a culmination of a rape incident, if one cannot afford to bring up the baby and if there are relationship problems like divorce.
An abortion involves the medical practitioner, the two parents and the fetus. Most of the ethical discussions about abortion revolve around these parties. The greatest concern in abortion is that it involves ending the life of another being. Ethically, it is wrong for any person to take the life of another person. This is because, the society believes that life is a gift from a divine power and only this power has the right to take this life. Those against abortion say that neither the parents nor the medical practitioners have the right to take the life of the fetus. They advocate for the notion that life begins at conception and therefore abortion equates to murder.
On the other side of the argument, those advocating for abortion argue that the mother has the right to make a choice whether to carry the fetus to full term or not. This is because; the parents bear the sole responsibility of carrying the fetus and bringing up the child. In addition to this, the life of the new child has an impact to the life of the parents. It affects their facets of their normal life like education and career.
They also dispute the notion that the life form after conception is a person. There is a myriad of standards advanced to demarcate when one can consider the fetus as a person. Some argue that rather than at conception, the fetus acquires a personal identity after the first trimester while others argue that it is after birth. These arguments try to justify abortion by claiming that in moral light, abortion is not equitable to murder since the fetus does not have an identity. These two sides of the abortion debate present the classical ethical health issue. The health practitioner has to juggle between these competing arguments to come up with the most rational decision while taking full responsibility of the consequences emanating from their actions.
In vitro fertilization
In vitro fertilization is an assistive reproduction technique that involves the fusion of the human female’s ova with the male’s sperm outside the human body and the implantation of the successfully formed embryos in the uterus of the mother. The mother first receives fertility treatment therapy that makes her to produce several ova, which the doctors harvest. The doctors then fuse these ova with the father’s sperm in a laboratory environment. After successful fertilization, they choose the healthiest embryos and implant them into the mother. This procedure helps the infertile couples who are incapable of conceiving the natural way to get children. However, like many other new medical techniques and procedures, in vitro fertilization faces a tremendous magnitude of both positive and negative controversy.
Those against this technique question the ethical quality of this technique and express concern on the fate of the other embryos not used to get the mother pregnant. Like with abortion, they feel that this is inhuman because the human embryos represent human life. They feel that this is irresponsible and a selfish waste of human life. In addition to this, they express concern on the commercialization of the procedure. They opine that this equates human life to a commodity with a commercial value rather than divinely provided sanctity and autonomous rights to life. Another concern is that the departure from the natural means of conception as intended by the divine creator is responsible for the high incidence of genetic abnormalities in the children conceived by in vitro fertilization. Research shows that over 71.1% of the successful embryos have genetic defects like an abnormal number of chromosomes.
On the other side of the argument, those who support in vitro fertilization argue that it is an ethical undertaking because it brings happiness in families that cannot conceive by natural means. They argue that in vitro fertilization brings forth life and facilitates the perpetuation of the human race hence it is ethical. They also dispute the notion that the destroying the embryos is unethical because the same phenomenon takes place in the natural environment where different organisms bring forth many eggs or embryos but only a few and the strongest eggs survive. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with killing the abnormal embryos. It is a natural process of ensuring progeny fitness.
Organ donation is a medical procedure that involves the harvesting of organs from a dead body in order to save the life of a person facing a premature death from organ or tissue failure. In most jurisdictions, ether the donor or the family of the donor may decide to donate the organs upon death. A consent form is the legal document facilitating carrying out of the procedure in a legal framework. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this issue due to the ethical concerns stemming from the sanctity of life.
There are two sides in the ethical debate on organ donation. Those against organ donation argue that from the spiritual perspective it is paramount to treat the body of a dead person with respect. In addition, they express concerns on the decision on who to receive the donated organs. The demand for the donated organs is usually higher than the supply and hence the medical practitioners have to choose some subjects over others, some people view this s unethical because no one has the right to decide who lives and who does not.
On the other side, those supporting organ donation argue that it is an ethical practice because it allows the dead person to decide what happens to their body after death. In addition, the organs donated through such medical procedures help others to live longer and be of impact to the world. The donated organs save people from premature deaths hence any medical procedure that can improve the quality of life is perpetuation of the work of the divine creator rather than competition against the creator as perceived by many people.
In conclusion, the modern healthcare system faces hordes of ethical issues. The fact the healthcare system deals with matters of life and death and improving the quality of life makes it a controversial sector since the society credits the divine creator with the jurisdiction over matters of life. The society views any intervention in the life process as unethical because they view it as playing God. However, when evaluating any ethical issue, there is need to distinguish between facts and prejudice. One should view abortion, in vitro fertilization and organ donation according to different circumstances. As ethical issues, one should not blindly brand them as unethical without considering the role of the parties involved in making decisions to influence their own lives.
Banerjee, A. (2006). An insight into the ethical issues related to in vitro fertilization. The Internet Journal of Health, 6(1).
Eileen E Morrison, B. F. (2013). Health Care Ethics. Texas: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Lawrence M. Hinman, P. (2014). Abortion: An Overview of the Ethical Issues . Ethics matters .
Pozgar, G. D. (2013). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals.: . Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Price, D. P. (2000). Legal and ethical aspects of organ transplantation. Cambridge University Press.
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