Ethical Issues in Health Care
April 25, 2011
Mary Nell Cummings
Ethical Issues in Health Care
In the United States, government ran systems exist of social support. Such systems are Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These systems seem to be widely accepted in other countries than in America. Individualism and justice has been included in the United States foundation of welfare. Citizens feel a level of appropriateness allowing the government to spend tax monies to help an unfortunate person who has exhausted all of his or her energy, strength, and abilities to help himself. Americans further feel the efforts to help are satisfactory if an unreasonable amount of ...view middle of the document...
97). A point of contention for IVF as described above is a single mother with children making a decision to keep all of the implanted embryos and deliver the multiple births – the patient’s autonomy.
Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Peforming kindness or goodness defines beneficence. For health care providers beneficence is a moral responsibility to act for the advantage of others. All acts of beneficence are not obligatory but in priniciple the act is to aid others further their interests. Health care providers have “obligations to confer benefits, to prevent and remove harms, and ot weigh and balance the possibile goods against the costs and possible harms of an action” (Medicine Net, 2011, p. 1).
Nonmaleficence is a principle that asserts a responsibility that the health care provider will not impose harm intentionally. The principle is useful when providers are dealing with difficult issues such as those of terminal illness or significant injuries. Philosophers consider beneficence and nonmaleficence to be inseparable. Therefore, when one discusses one the other is often considered as well. Specifically for the single mother mentioned, the application of the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence apply to whether the decision not to reduce the fetuses was medically safe for the mother and the unborn. One should also mention the concern of a physician implanting what some would consider a large number of embryos at one time. Debatable for future patients is the risk that the mother chose to herself and the unborn and if transferring significant numbers of embryos for implant will be allowed. According to Savulescu (2001), research is expanding at a rapid rate in areas that allows a single mother or a couple to chose other traits such as eye color, hair color, less medical conditions such as lower risk for Alzheimer Disease, or criminal behavior.
Individuals view social justice as a pursuit or attainment of equity over equality as it pertains to all aspects of society. Many feel social justice goes far beyond the realms of the legal system and reaches into and encompasses society. Achievement of social justice would propel the principle as a priority and responsibility of society. This thought process is not just for a select few or the elite but everyone in society. Social justice promotes autonomy and personal liberty. “It must not be forgotten that the precondition of liberty is not equivalent to liberty itself” (Su, 2009, p. 397). In regard to the single mother, it is the citizens’ social justice that is affected by her decision to bring more children into the world. This primary act would further tax health care resources....