Custom «Ethics of Health Care» Essay Paper Sample
Issues of ethical concern are not adequately regulated and assessed adequately in the U.S. healthcare system. To begin with, any physician has a responsibility of ensuring that patient confidentiality is highly maintained. Providing confidentiality and privacy to patients are vital in enhancing the relationship between practitioners and patients as well as retaining the patient's dignity. The issue of confidential information remains an ethical dilemma especially when patient information is accessed by unauthorized employees and used for private reasons (Raymond and John, 2006).
There are several cases which have reviewed that some physicians have disclosed the patient information to the public or the third party. According to AMA ethical guidelines, 2010 maintaining a patient privacy is a legal responsibility as well as an ethical obligation. The government has overtime overlooked on this matter, it has failed to take action on those physician who breach the confidentiality ethical rule. A recently case in Madison Community Health Care centre showed how confidential information was disseminated through shared hospital databases to the public yet the government failed to take action against the institution claiming that the institution had patient consent.
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Another ethical issue which clearly shows that the government has failed in regulating and assessing ethical issues in the health care industry is the widespread tendency of doctors accepting money from pharmaceutical corporations as compensation for attending educational activities organized by the drug companies. Although the law states that the degree of hospitality given in such events and meetings should be appropriate and within professional boundaries, these meetings have been used to market drugs and convince doctors to prescribe them to patients: even if drug companies don't pursue that kind of direct marketing approach, it's clearly obvious that doctors who attend such events are more likely to be influenced into prescribing the drugs (Dean, 2007).
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Pharmaceutical representatives are also known for their tendencies to provide doctors with small gifts for attending their meetings. Although these gifts are small, they create a powerful social obligation on doctors as well as set up relationships which compel doctors to reciprocate: this compromises loyalty to patients. Although the pharmaceutical corporations have made great contributions to life expectancy and health, the interests of pharmaceutical corporations and physicians don't often coincide and involvement of the pharmaceutical corporations in educational programs can lead to breach of ethical guidelines. Thus the government needs to take a more active role in regulating and enforcing ethical issues in the health care industry.
Furthermore, the current malpractice crisis is proof that the government has not adequately regulated the heath care industry; it clearly shows us that there is need to enforce ethical regulations in the health sector. Health insurance premiums have spiraled out of control due to lack of government involvement in regulating the industry (Rosemarie 2005). Even strikes by physicians in many states seem to have had no effect in bringing a practical solution to the problem. The American Medical Association issued a report stating that thirty states have medical liability crises in their health systems. These problems could have been avoided if the government adequately regulated the health care system.