ethical and legal issues in healthcare

The patient asks the X-ray technician if her doctor is disclosing everything he knows about her test results. Medical researchers have long collected and stored blood and tissue samples for future research, but the value of biological samples has increased as advances have been made in genetics, genomics, and biotechnology. An illegal act, or one that is against the law, is almost always unethical. A teenager requests medication for a painful condition, but his parents refuse, based on religious beliefs. Striking a balance between quality care and efficiency can be challenging. Currently she is a dean of students at a large, public university. Legal and ethical issues arise frequently, and are commonly encountered in certain fields such as medicine, healthcare and politics. A digital sensor in the pills is activated by the patient’s stomach acid and generates an electrical signal that’s picked up by a patch on the rib cage and then transmitted to a smartphone app. Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s in counseling and student affairs from Minnesota State Mankato. Health care professionals must know and follow HIPPA laws, and cannot disclose patient information. When pandemics and other widespread medical emergencies do overwhelm the capacity of medical facilities, even starker ethical questions arise. Biological 3D printers can create limbs and organs customized for a patient’s body, and scientists use DNA mapping to “grow” organs that are genetically identical to a patient’s own cells, according to Electronic Health Reporter. The fact that the patient is incarcerated is only a circumstance of his or her situation and does not, and should not, change how the nurse practices or how the nurse views the patient. When ethical principles are violated, a civil lawsuit often follows. The medical secretary thinks she may have mistakenly mailed Patient A’s medical records to Patient B. Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare is a definitive resource for healthcare students and professionals in nursing, medicine, and the allied health sciences, providing a comprehensive overview and exploration of today's ethical and legal landscape in healthcare delivery. Links to information on ethical issues in the practice of public health. . AI used for health-related predictive analysis relies on large, diverse datasets, including EHRs. What organizations should have access to data that can predict a patient’s future health issues? Category: Articles, News, How to Become a Nursing Home Administrator, AdventHealth University’s Master of Science in Spiritual Care Gains Important Accreditation Affirmation, Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation, Advanced Imaging Certificate in Vascular Interventional Radiography, Advanced Imaging Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Advanced Imaging Certificate in Computed Tomography, Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation and Master of Business Administration (MHA/MBA) Dual Degree, “How Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Is Improving Patient Care”, , “First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’”, , “The Medical Ethics of the Coronavirus Crisis”, , “Too Many Tests, Too Little Time: Doctors Say They Face ‘Moral Injury’ Because of a Business Model That Interferes with Patient Care”, , “U.S. Who gets care when the number of patients exceeds a hospital’s capacity? One of the constant ethical challenges facing healthcare administrators is how to make capital allocations that strike a balance between patients’ medical needs and fiscal responsibility. Sharing patient data for secondary purposes, such as population health programs, requires either consent from the patient or anonymization of the data. This is an ethical concern that has legal implications. Patients are vulnerable, and that vulnerability needs to be acknowledged and respected at all times. Precision medicine doesn’t describe drugs or medical devices designed specifically for unique patients, but rather the tailoring of treatments to the individual characteristics of patients that have been classified using big data analytics and population health. Nearly every decision that’s made has ethical implications--for patients, for providers and for healthcare leaders.“ (Larson, 2013). Health care professionals struggle to help patients who lack the resources to cover the treatment they need. Electronic health records (EHRs) create a centralized, shareable record of a patient’s entire medical history; allow for the automation of healthcare provider workflows; and enable advanced medical assessment tools. Ethical issues and access to healthcare J Infus Nurs. Many nurses do not have formal education in legal and ethical issues, and as such as often unqualified to address these questions when they arise in the medical environment.xx… Here are a few legal issues that affect the healthcare system on a regular basis: Antitrust issues and ACOs – Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs) consist of groups of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, who collaborate voluntarily to provide coordinated high-quality care to patients. Addressing the difficult ethical issues influencing the science and business of healthcare requires leaders with exceptional knowledge and skills. But Are We Ready for the Answers?”, The Hasting Center, “Why Health Care Organizations Need Technology Ethics Committees”, The Medical Futurist, “The Most Pressing Issues in Bioethics”, The New York Times, “First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’”, The New Yorker, “The Medical Ethics of the Coronavirus Crisis”, The Washington Post, “Too Many Tests, Too Little Time: Doctors Say They Face ‘Moral Injury’ Because of a Business Model That Interferes with Patient Care”, The Washington Post, “U.S. Advances such as DNA mapping and bioidentical organs hold the potential to lengthen lives dramatically, but treatments that are prohibitively expensive for many or most patients violate the tenets of health equity. The risk of moral injury can be particularly high in a profit-driven healthcare environment where multiple factors other than patient care influence treatment decisions. Ethical and legal dilemmas arise when the health care provider and the patient, or the patient’s family, have differing opinions on appropriate care. Population health can discover widespread health problems or locate segments of the population that have a particularly high occurrence of a disease, for example. Lacking a vaccine, public health officials have fought the outbreak with social distancing measures that slow the spread of the disease, helping to mitigate outbreak spikes that overwhelm medical facilities and ultimately result in more lives lost. The increasing role of big data and predictive analytics in medical decision-making raises questions about the ethics of big data in healthcare — specifically whether data-driven decisions risk dehumanizing patients. Healthcare informatics is a design of communication, information, and documentation in an electronic health record (EHR). There are a variety of ethical and legal issues that arise with the growing use of health information technology in clinical settings. A plastic surgeon discloses names of his well-known clients at a cocktail party. Patients expect that they can speak to healthcare professionals in confidence, and both legal and ethical guidelines exist to preserve that confidentiality. A nursing home patient offers cash to a certified nursing assistant who has money problems. The doctor wants to see a child for a follow-up visit, but his parents refuse, because of  limited insurance coverage. The sometimes conflicting responsibilities of supporting optimal patient outcomes and fiscal responsibility can lead to a state of “moral injury.” Describing the injury of a person’s moral conscience and values resulting from the experience of committing a moral transgression, moral injury results in feelings of shame and guilt. Protecting patient data is a core responsibility of healthcare providers, and the federal law restricting release of medical information strictly regulates the handling of sensitive patient health information, but the field of population health complicates issues of patient privacy. Author Karen Trotochaud 1 Affiliation 1 Center for Ethics, Emory University, USA. A rapid response during pandemics is crucial, but rushing healthcare efforts can add risk to processes such as drug trials. Health care professionals continually face ethical and legal issues in the workplace, putting them at risk for burnout. A final theme addressed in this issue elucidates the legal and health policy conflicts that arise with the use of AI in health care. Patient safety may be compromised, resulting in injury and lawsuits. Start studying 1.04 Legal & Ethical Issues in Healthcare Study Guide. Ethical and Legal Issues In the correctional setting, the patient is at the core of professional nursing practice. A malpractice suit is more likely to happen if a patient claims that his condition was misdiagnosed by a harried medical practitioner. As Daniel Callahan and Bruce Jennings have noted, “[p]ublic health is one of the few professions that has, in many matters, legal power–in particular, the police power of the state–behind it. Medical professionals routinely make difficult decisions, including life-or-death calls, for patients and their families. Bio-ethicists suggest that when medical professionals practice ethical principles of autonomy, justice, doing good and doing no harm can help health care professionals resolve difficult situations. This information is protected by laws and regulations such as HIPPA, but there are still concerns Scott, et al, 2005). Deliberating such complex practical and moral issues is a constant challenge in healthcare administration, and medical professionals can benefit greatly from training in ethical issues and public policy. Cite this document Summary … Download full paper File format: .doc, available for editing. Conversations between a physician and a patient are strictly confidential, as is information about an individual’s medical condition. False Claims & Whistleblower Suits. Specific provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, define exactly what information can be released and to whom. Ethical and efficient governance mechanisms are essential for the pharmaceutical sector and health care delivery. The Core of Legal and Ethical Issues Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Our programs are designed to meet your need for flexibility. Course Summary Health 301: Ethical & Legal Issues in Healthcare has been evaluated and recommended for 3 semester hours and may be transferred to over 2,000 colleges and universities. When determining how strict such measures should be, lawmakers and public health officials must balance the good of communities against individual liberties, a literal life-and-death decision with substantial financial, political, and social ramifications. A doctor treats her own family members when the family's primary care doctor is out of town. Helping students succeed has been her passion while serving in many areas of student affairs and adjunct teaching. Ethical issues are wide-ranging, from organ donation, genetic engineering, assisted suicide, withholding treatment in end-of-life care, or simple procedures requiring consent. Malpractice and medical lawsuits can be devastating to any medical practice. . Due to staff shortages, a nurse is reassigned to another area, where the nursing staff lacks sufficient skill or training. The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus provides a grim illustration of ethical issues in pandemic planning and response. As a health administrator, you may be asked to work with staff to resolve complaints before these issues escalate to the point of legal action and to help ensure that your organization’s providers are basing their decisions on patients’ needs over other factors. The healthcare industry also now faces challenges related to … Through the practice of de-anonymization, or data re-identification, anonymous data can be compared with publicly available information and matched to an individual. Here are just six of the major ethical issues facing the healthcare industry in 2020. At a time when emerging technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are challenging the fundamental notion of what a healthcare provider is, the battle to stop a worldwide pandemic reveals just how difficult ethical issues in healthcare can become when resources are strained. Category: Nursing, November 15, 2020  |  The same information that public health officials use to diagnose, treat, and promote public policies could potentially be used by insurance companies, lenders, marketers, landlords, and employers. Efforts to lasso health care costs puts increasing pressure on staff to do more with less. It's necessary to work … A patient persists in telling sexist jokes, which offends nursing home staff. Imagine, for example, a decision to end treatment of a loved one’s terminal illness based solely on a predictive score produced by an algorithm. The first digital pill to be approved in the United States was a form of the antipsychotic medication aripiprazole (sold under the trade name Abilify) in 2017. Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare is a definitive resource for healthcare students and professionals in nursing, medicine, and the allied health sciences, providing a comprehensive overview and exploration of today’s ethical and legal landscape in healthcare delivery. Category: Healthcare Administration, November 9, 2020  |  Each issued-based section includes related questions that highlight specific challenges that leaders face when making day-to-day medical decisions and far-reaching policies that affect patient health. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits employers and health insurers from considering genetic information when making decisions such as hiring and firing or health insurance eligibility. Customized medicine refers to the creation of bioidentical limbs and organs to replace injured or missing ones. Ethical and legal dilemmas arise when the health care provider and the patient, or the patient’s family, have differing opinions on appropriate care. The related field of precision medicine, or personalized medicine, also uses genomic data. Ethical issues related to medical errors can be categorized around four ethical principles: autonomy and right to self-determination; beneficence and nonmaleficence; disclosure and right to knowledge; and veracity (Bonney, 2014). Here’s One Approach.”, U.S. News & World Report, “Why Will It Take So Long for a COVID-19 Vaccine?”, World Health Organization, Ethical Issues in Global Health, December 10, 2020  |  However, even anonymized data can be misused. Legal and “Ethical issues in healthcare are common. Public health practice and ethics are intimately intertwined with public health law, which shapes the authority of the state to protect the public’s health and limits that power in the form of individual rights and structural constraints. In some instances, legal regulations prohibit people from carrying out certain tasks, such as administering life-saving support, that are considered morally permissible actions. Legal vs Ethical Issues . For example, digital pills, also known as smart pills, are pharmaceuticals that contain an ingestible sensor that transmits data after the pill is consumed. Population health is the analysis of health outcomes of large groups of people. At the same time, it has highlighted ethical issues that arise in vector-borne diseases more generally. Customized medicine and other advanced treatments raise issues of income inequality and equal access to healthcare. The advent of predictive and prescriptive algorithms that can analyze large amounts of data also increases the potential privacy risks associated with stored medical specimens. A health care professional may be torn between the ethics of beneficence (doing good) and autonomy (respecting patient’s wishes). A medical coder accidentally put sensitive medical records in a hallway trash bin, instead of in the shredder. Dr. Dpwd’s writing experience includes published research, training materials and hundreds of practical online articles. A patient asks his oncology nurse to go on a date with him the day he is discharged. Pressure from hospital administrations, insurance companies and managed care organizations further constrain the choices for treatment and prescriptions. Robotics are already heavily used in healthcare; robot-assisted surgeries are now commonplace, and robotic prosthetics are advancing rapidly. Issues by nature are many and, today, many issues are brought up and are questioned upon their varying natures. Nurses are subject to a plethora of legal, ethical, and professional duties which can be very challenging on a day to day basis. Protecting patient privacy is essential, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Reusing stored biological samples and data collected from research participants in past studies, as well as samples collected from patients for clinical or diagnostic purposes, raises new issues about the responsibility of healthcare providers to obtain informed consent. The protection of private patient information is one of the most important ethical and legal issues in the field of healthcare. Whether population health information is matched to an individual or applied in aggregate to a population, if it’s used for purposes other than promoting health, it has the potential to negatively impact those who supplied the data. Advances in data storage and processing technology have dramatically changed the speed and volume of data analysis capabilities and given rise to predictive analytics. Health administrators responsible for healthcare finance management decisions may be put in a position to question, for example, whether a drug needs to be prescribed or an imaging test needs to be done. The term “big data” refers to the proliferation of digital information in the modern age. Information must be sufficient and understandable, to enable the patient to make informed decisions that are in his best interest. May-Jun 2006;29(3):165-70. doi: 10.1097/00129804-200605000-00007. Robotic health workers offer a potential answer to labor shortages, but their use could dehumanize those they’re meant to serve and those they replace. Ethical and legal issues, being two kinds of issues that are often brought up especially in organizations, are two terms that often clash with one another and at the same time working with one another on different occasions, as well. An insurance company refuses to pay for a procedure or a drug that a doctor strongly believes the patient needs. . AHU Online is an investment in your future self and career. Appropriate actions may include disciplining or terminating a member of a health care team. The Legal And Ethical Issues Of Health Care Of A Child Essay. Confidentiality is linked to patient privacy, but has to do more with the conduct of the healthcare professional than with documentation. Find out more about how this unique program offered through a partnership between AdventHealth University Online and Stetson University is creating leaders to shape the future of the healthcare industry. The use and effectiveness of population health is increasing in the era of big data, which can be used to find links between diseases and specific environments or socioeconomic groups. Comments (0) Add to wishlist Delete from wishlist. Limited resources force tough choices in quality of care. When a patient dies, privacy rights still apply. If resolution cannot be reached, a judge may need to rule on the matter. Together, these legal tools help direct and manage property and health care decisions in accordance with a person’s wishes when the person no longer has the ability (capacity) to make decisions. Even efforts to reduce waste and inappropriate use of resources, critical aspects of responsible fiscal stewardship, can unintentionally impinge on patients’ best interests. Enabled by advances in the understanding of how unique molecular and genetic profiles make an individual susceptible to a particular disease, personalized medicine has applications in risk assessment, prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases. Legally and ethically, health care professionals cannot violate patient trust, which is an essential component of treatment. Nurses discuss a patient in the hospital cafeteria, where confidential information is overheard by visitors. Intervention is required if mutual respect is not shown or if boundaries are crossed. The growing use of AI and robotics also raises issues of healthcare technology ethics. Addressing ethical issues in vector-borne diseases Zika has raised many specific ethical issues, in particular regarding pregnancy. However, some see a future where robots care for the sick and elderly and robotic enhancements provide patients with superhuman capabilities — applications with more problematic implications. Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Professionals - Essay Example. Potential medical applications include analysis of radiologic images. Wrestling with equal treatment vs. VIP treatment for donors and other influential people. Confidentiality - The protection of private patient information in the medical field is one of the most important ethical issues that may arise in the field of healthcare. A patient’s family asks the doctor not to tell their elderly mother that her tumor is malignant. Access to care poses difficult ethical and legal dilemmas for health care professionals, who sign an oath not to harm their patient. The first ethical violation that Dr. Smith is guilty of is having a personal relationship with a patient. It thus has an obligation both toward government, which controls it, and toward the public that it s… Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health external icon The Code is intended principally for public and other institutions in the United States that have an explicit public health mission. An analysis that reveals a high rate of a disease in a given population could be used to focus education and treatment efforts; it could also be used to adjust insurance coverage. “ (Larson, 2013). Many modern medical devices are capable of reporting an incredible variety of health information, with or without a patient’s knowledge. Health care professionals must maintain appropriate boundaries. These issues are a major focus for the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), which offers a working group for members that is specifically geared toward ongoing education about ethical, legal and social issues related to health informatics. However, the law doesn’t apply to nongenetic predictive data. Legal and ethical issues are prevalent in the health care industry, and in particular for the nursing practice, where nurses have daily individual contact with patients. Elite care … Both ethically and legally, healthcare professionals are prohibited from sharing information about patients with other people. The doctor disagrees with the patient’s request to forgo treatment. Legal and “Ethical issues in healthcare are common. A patient may give permission to a healthcare provider or clinical researcher to use a tissue sample for one test, for example, but have no control over its use in future projects. Hospitals May Have to Ration Care During the Pandemic. Fear of legal action may also cause providers to engage in “defensive medicine.” Writ… With courses in innovation, strategy, and ethical issues and public policy, AdventHealth University Online’s Master of Healthcare Administration in Strategy and Innovation and Master of Business Administration (MHA/MBA) Dual Degree program develops strategic thinkers and leaders capable of making significant impacts and initiating positive change. Genuine concern, trust and empathy should frame all interactions. Deciding how much risk is justified under the circumstances is an ongoing debate. 1530 Words 7 Pages. Healthcare professionals, who are themselves at risk of infection, may be forced to decide which patients should receive treatment or access to lifesaving equipment and treatment when need exceeds capacity. Balancing care quality and efficiency. Accidental or intentional disclosure of private patient information can result in litigation, huge fines and jail time for the violator. The evolution of robotics in healthcare beyond compensatory measures and into human enhancements raises issues of access and fairness for patients and challenges the definition of a healthcare provider. Therefore, interpretation of legal acts for allied health professionals varies greatly from state to Bonnie Fremgern, Ethical Issues in Healthcare Healthcare ethics and law are intertwined. Conversations between a patient and a doctor are strictly confidential and access to them is strictly monitored. Whether forming technology ethics committees, fostering greater collaboration between healthcare administrators and clinicians, or influencing regulations that protect the use of personal information and predictive data, such leaders support ethical healthcare while balancing medical and financial responsibilities. Vector-Borne diseases more generally patient asks the doctor wants to see a Child for a procedure or a drug a... 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