Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.


Ethics in healthcare entails the correct way of conduct by medical professionals within the medical setting. It involves the moral way in which physicians should interact with patients. The medical profession is governed by principles and rules that all medical professionals should observe in order to better care and improve health outcomes (Mason, 2017). The Hippocratic Oath contains a number of pledges that reflect respect to all individuals and human life. Ethical issues arise when there is a conflict within the systems of morality and principles that govern the profession.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.


People of various backgrounds and beliefs interact together in the medical setting. This involves patients, doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians that all work towards achieving effective care provision. It is therefore necessary to bring harmony within the care facility by the set of morals that every single individual should observe. A breach in these moral principles may have negative effects in care provision. The ANA code of ethics regulates the way nurses perform their duties as well as enhances better professional development (Miller & Blackler, 2017). It contains guidelines to good clinical practice that all nurses should follow in order to ensure positive outcomes. The aim of this essay is to critically analyze ethical issues that arose from the clinical practice of Dan and how it violates the Australian registered nurse standards of practice and code of conduct.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

In this clinical situation, there was a breach in the nursing code of conduct by Jane as she attended to patients while she was unwell. She did not pay close attention to her patients due to her state of deprived sleep and low concentration. This has severe consequences in the care provision process for her patients. This is because she might administer the wrong medication to her patients as she was not thinking straight. The administration of wrong medication can lead to severe effects that may jeopardize the health of the patient. Since Jane was not attentive to patients, failure to offer correct care and medication could be considered as negligence.

Negligence refers to failure to administer correct care or giving substandard care offered to patients without an effort to ensure their safety (Moon, 2015). This is considered a breach of the Australian standard of practice and may result to worsening of the patient’s condition and in some cases fatal outcomes. Non maleficence is considered as an ethical principle. It is well defined as ensuring that harm to the patient is avoided by all means in the care giving process (Martin, 2015).  The lack of concentration by the registered nurse can result to harm in the patients if the lack of or wrong medication is issued to the patient. This can lead to legal issues whereby the patient can decide to sue the care giver.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

Apart from non-maleficence, there are a number of ethical principles that ought to be followed by care givers and researchers to ensure patient safety and recovery. One of the major principles is respect for all persons. There is need for the care giver to always respect the patient they are giving care without showing any kind of discrimination (Davis et al, 2017). Patients may come from different backgrounds and culture that is different from the care giver. This should not be considered as a basis to offer care as it can lead to the care giver being biased to certain people. Racial differences as well as beliefs should be set aside when the health practitioner is giving care and the goal should always be to preserve human life and ensure the best outcome for any patient regardless of their state.

Professionalism in the care setting is of importance as it includes respect for the patient receiving care and maintaining discussions and practice within the scope of care delivery. Jane as a registered nurse should not have partied till late with knowledge that she would be attending to patients the same day as it shows she does not respect and highly regard her patients which should not be the case. Fidelity in care practice is another important ethical practice. It entails the fact that the care provider should always remain faithful and committed to the care giving process no matter the circumstance (Roberts, 2015). Jane as a registered nurse violated this principle by losing her commitment and focus to providing care that is of high quality to her patients. The lack of supervision of Dan by Jane after allocating him a task could be an indication of loss of her commitment and dedication to the patient’s welfare.

Another violation of the Australian standard of practice and code of conduct is shown by Dan. He violated the nursing principles by taking pictures of the patient’s (Fred) wound and sharing it on social media without the patient’s consent. Informed consent should always be sought by a care provider in cases where the patient’s permission is needed first before taking a certain step that will affect the patient. It refers to the process of seeking written or verbal permission from a patient in order to carry a particular intervention or action that will impact the patient’s current state (Darrow et al, 2015). Dan did not seek permission from the patient to take and even post the picture of the patient’s wound on Facebook thereby breaching consent seeking process. He took the photos of the wound discretely and therefore the patient was not aware of the happenings.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

Informed consent entails involving and engaging the patient in a discussion before taking a certain action during the care plan so as to ensure they fully understand the process. This type of consent can also be used in other clinical situations such as informing patients of certain surgical procedures to be performed on them and the administration of a certain treatment plan. In informed consent, the patient might seek answers as to the how’s and why’s of the process which the care giver should always give answers to (Aach et al, 2017). The care giver should always give an elaborate explanation of the whole process including the risks and benefits associated with a particular action to be taken. In this scenario, the patient was not briefed by Dan that he was taking a photo of his wound. In addition to this, Dan went further and posted the photo on a social media platform without the patient’s knowledge. Veracity is an important principle of ethics that should always be incorporated in the care giving process. It involves telling the truth to the patient at all times during the care giving process and ensuring that there is accountability in the process (Baden, 2015). In this case, Dan was not concerned about the patient’s thoughts on the matter and took advantage of his blind state to take a photo of his wound thereby trespassing accountability in the process.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

In addition to not seeking consent from the patient by Dan, there was a breach in confidentiality of information concerning the patient. According to the nursing ethical codes, confidentiality of any given patient’ information is important. It entails not disclosing any medical information of the patient to anyone else unless in cases where the care giver is required by law to do so (Harriss & Atkinson, 2015). In this clinical scenario, Dan did not observe confidentiality of the patient as he share photos of Fred’s current condition on Facebook which is a social media. Dan therefore shared the patient’s information to the public without the patient’s knowledge. Breach of patient confidentiality can lead to conflict between the patient and the care giver as the patient might require compensation for the breach. Legal issues therefore form part of such a breach as the patient on discovery of leaked information might decide to sue the care giver.

Confidentiality in healthcare ensures that patient rights are protected and promotes health seeking behavior as some people may shy off from discussing their medical conditions (Voithofer & Ham, 2018). It creates a platform where there is secrecy in information about a given patient unless if the patient authorizes the sharing of such information. There are however special cases in which confidentiality can be breached. These include whereby the patient’s life is dependent on sharing of such information, incases whereby the law requires a doctor to do so and whereby the patient authorizes sharing of such information with for example family. There are proper channels instituted within health facilities for the passing down of information from one person to another.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

The ISBAR and SBAR handover criteria form important aspects of sharing information about a patient without disclosing much about them (Simangunsong, Hendry & Stevenson, 2016). This can be used for example by ambulance medics handing over the patient to a care facility for further management. The medical facilities comprises of a number of various personnel involved in the care of a certain patient. These include doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians. Information concerning a patient is passed between these individuals through proper channels by ensuring that only those actively involved in the patient’s care gain adequate information about the patient. The use of efficient filing systems ensures that information about patients is kept safely and retrieved whenever need be.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

The guidelines for nursing ethics in Australia and all over the world encourage nurses to seek to better their quality of care. According to Cohen et al. (2016), this can be done by seeking higher education and research as well as adequate training of nursing students so as to ensure they are equipped with knowledge and skills that are of high standards. In the care for Fred as indicated in this clinical situation, Dan was tasked to assist Jane with a complex vacuum dressing of the patient. However, the registered nurse left thereby leaving Dan without supervision. This can lead to inadequate care process as the student nurse might not be able to have adequate skills to effect the care process. The Australian code of ethics encourages nurses to act in the best interest of the patient as well as maximize patient safety. Care provision to patients should therefore always be monitored to ensure that its quality advances with time. This can be done by engaging patients in their care and seeking feedback on how they were cared for in order to identify loopholes that require improvement as well as identify strengths and maximizing on them (Mancini et al, 2015).Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

It is important for the management of hospitals and healthcare centers to form ethical committees to ensure that ethical issues within care practice are monitored. This can assist in ensuring patient’s rights are protected and improving service delivery. Within the medical setting, doctors, nurses and patients are often predisposed to transmissible infections. These transmissible infections may negatively affect these individuals during the care practice of a patient. There is therefore need for the hospital management to ensure that there is adequate education on how these healthcare associated infections can be prevented to ensure both the safety of the patient and the healthcare provider. Provision and maintenance of high levels of hygiene within the care institution can be effective in preventing infection spread as well as ensuring both patients and care givers interact in a safe environment (Klein & Castillo, 2017).Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.

In conclusion, ethical issues in healthcare facilities are on the rise and there is need to increase awareness worldwide to ensure that patient rights are observed regardless of their background. There is need to educate patients on their rights in order for them to monitor their care giving process and encourage accountability (LaRossa & Bennett, 2018). On the other hand, nurses should always ensure that they follow the guidelines of the nursing code of ethics in order to improve patient outcome. New inventions and technological developments within the health sector should always be monitored to ensure they do don’t inflict harm on patients. Care provision should always be patient centered and change with the needs of patients. This ensures a comprehensive care process that aims at achieving the best possible patient outcome.Ethical Issues in Health Care Practice Essay.