To start with, the problems that arise in delivery of a baby where there are many problems encountered with the mother being a high risk case with any existing severe medical conditions posing pregnancy a high risk one or instances where the infant is being diagnosed to have a very fatal condition and its survival is not possible, in which ethically it is best to abort the baby, but the mother wants to take the risk which is indeed unethical.
In such cases the patient should be counseled and made aware of the possible problems that has to be faced in the future. With the new reproductive technologies being brought in, there are a number of people opting for these technologies even though in some cases where it is known that it would not be a successful one. Ethically, undue usage of medical resources knowing the fact that the outcome is not going to give any positive result is against the ethical rules, because resources are to be used at a very limited pace, keeping in mind their availability.
So the usage of resources are correlated with the issues where the risks are being taken which are unethical. It holds good in medical research where there are many times when the resources are unnecessarily wasted every now and then until they derive at what was intended to be derived without keeping in mind the harm caused, but just thinking about the beneficial outcome. The physician or a practicing health care official have many responsibilities and ethical means to be followed in his/her daily practice or career.
Maintaining the confidentiality of the patient, where the patient would not want anybody other than the doctor has to be maintained respecting the thoughts and trust of the patient. Similarly, the physician has to tell the truth regarding the illness and its course if it is going to show a positive outcome or not, instead of keeping the patient in darkness and hope. Depending on the verdict of the physician it will enable the patient to make decisions as in to continue the
treatment or stop the treatment or change to some other sort of treatment. This will help the physician and the managing staff to take decisions as well. Autonomy of a person or patient in ethical issue is very important and the one that has to be considered firstly. It solely lies in the patient to take decision or do what the patient wants. Autonomy plays a different role when it comes to children and infants where the parents play a vital role in giving or making a decision regarding the child.
When it comes to the mentally ill its the related family members who take the decision. It lies in the consent of the families for the consent of the families for the treatment or withdrawal of treatment keeping in mind the best interests and well being of the children and the mentally ill. Geriatric age group forms a significant percentage of population and they need special care . Providing care to them when they are ill or long term care centre should be done ethically keeping in mind that they are people who need special attention.
Ethical issues raised by development in modern medicine are many where there are conflicting views, thoughts and opinions about various issues. Among these issues are the euthanasia and physician assisted suicide which has raised a number of questions if it is ethical or unethical. Most countries are against such practice but few countries have made it legal. I would definitely consider the issues taught and discussed in the class if I face a situation like this in my practice. I am sure I would able to think better in an ethical manner in such situations after attending this class.
Withdrawing treatment is another questionable issue, where in ethically it is approved because in a situation where the patient is in a permanent vegetative state or coma and no treatment is going to improve the condition of the patient it is better to withdraw treatment rather than prolong the treatment without any improvement is just not done, because by doing so the patient and his family are spending a huge amount of money on such care. End of life decision making is very crucial where ethically it depends on the patient in a state of competency, if not on the patient’s family.
Ethically, by no means can the patient’s family make decisions when the patient is competent. The physician also plays a huge role in such a situation as he has to guide the patient and his family to do what is best in the interest of the patient. The health care ethics class has brought into light many ethical formulations that I need to know and practice as a physician. It helped me get better knowledge in topics like care of the elderly, care of the infants, mentally ill, how to manage the resources, about genetic testing, euthanasia and autonomy.