Critical Issues in Healthcare – Medical Ethics Example

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"Critical Issues in Healthcare" is a perfect example of a paper on medical ethics.   Physicians have an ethical obligation towards their patients.   According to the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, the ethical values and the legal principles governing physicians have a close and strong relationship (Pozgar, 2009). In the medical field, a physician should always put the interests of the patients above everything else. The following factors should be the guiding principles for all the physicians; issues of confidentiality, justice, beneficence, and autonomy. In this case, Dr. Z acted unethically because instead of giving the patient room to express his feelings, the doctor got agitated and told the patient that he can go ahead, and seek other doctors’ opinions, but will still obtain similar results.

Dr. Z should have taken into consideration the fact that his patient could have been confused or worried about the illness. According to the Patient Self-Determination Act, patients are encouraged to have a personal decision regarding treatment the patient desires to undergo (Pozgar, 2009). Physicians are therefore expected to accept the personal will and should encourage patients to understand their rights regarding medical care. Dr.

Z acted unethically because he failed to help Mr. J face the challenge of his illness. He should have encouraged a conversation with the patient to help him feel valued and retain his dignity. Dr. Z should have disclosed clinically important information that would benefit Mr. J to establish if he needed surgery. Dr, Z should have taken the responsibility of educating Mr. J so that he could make him understand his illness and why he needed to undergo surgery and encourage him to confirm with other qualified medical professionals.

This would help him eliminate any doubt and build more confidence with other physicians in the future. According to Pozgar (2009), for any surgical process to achieve success, the physician must build a strong relationship with the patient, a factor Dr. Z failed to fulfill. This is because a good relationship helps patients to build strong trust and faith with physicians, which is essential for the surgical procedure and the healing process. Dr. Z did not show respect and compassion for the patient.

The physicians must respect the views of their patients and give advice to patients to enable them to makes the right decision (James, 2009). Having been requested by the patient to have a further check-up to confirm the surgery he should have taken the opportunity to explore the concerns and values of the patients so as he could decide the next ethical action to take. Most of the time providing guidance and careful counseling to the patient assist patient and physicians to reach an amicable agreement where no one stands to lose (Pozgar, 2009).

Generally, physicians are human beings and can get emotional as well (LaSalle, 1997). Therefore, it is important to encourage a healthy discussion where Dr. Z and Mr. J share their views and opinions regarding the surgery. Dr. Z telling Mr. J that all other doctors will confirm similar results shows that he has can trust his result. On the other hand, he is trying to prove that no other doctor can surpass him in the area. This could be termed as demeaning by the other practitioners and hence creating unhealthy relationships (James, 2009).

He is also destroying the image of the organization by being rude to the patients who are the organization's customers. A patient has the power to seek medical care from another provider and should not be prevented whatsoever (LaSalle, 1997). In conclusion, medical practitioners such as physicians have the role of ensuring that the patients are informed regarding their health status. Patients should also be provided with all the health information they require and should be allowed to seek medical care from another medical care center or practitioner.

Physicians should also ensure that they follow the ethical codes of conduct and other laws governing their conduct and profession.


James, T. (2009). Ethical and Legal Issues in Medical Practice. Indian J Urol. 25(3): 335–336.

LaSalle, D. L. (1997).Ethics in research and surgical practice. Am J Surg, 6: 589-591

Pozgar, G. D. (2009). Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Professionals. Jones & Bartlett Publishers

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