Legal and ethical issues pervade all sciences and disciplines. As such, provisions as well as revisions are often undertaken in avoiding catastrophes among management, client and service delivery agents. This document will explore legal and ethical issues faced by allied health practitioners in the daily execution of duties.
Part 1- Distinguishing between personal and societal values
Personal values many times conflict with societal and organizational interpretations of acceptable behavior. Hence, there is always a struggle in creating balance among these forces at play in one’s life. A classic example is how certain societies and cultures perceive physician assisted suicide in America.
In Oregon it is legislated under the guise of reducing suicides committed by patients who were terminally ill. A personal value for life and living contradicts with society in allowing physicians to support this process of ending life (Public Health Division, 2010). Similarly, stem cell research has conflicting personal and societal connotations in perceiving the value of life among management forces, clients and service delivery agents. Arguments have been that it is murder since embryonic cells are utilized in the process, which actually is the beginning of the human species (Davis, 2005).
Therefore, distinguishing between personal and societal values is very important in professional practice as an allied health practitioner. From research findings allied health care professions are described as, ‘ clinical health care professions’ (AAHS, 2011) being uniquely distinct from other more popular disciplines such as dentistry, nursing and medicine. Their specific function is to enhance health care delivery by working as a team in providing a variety of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic interventions (AAHS, 2011)
These interactions forge direct approaches towards patient care functioning as delicate support system resources to the other health professionals in the delivery of service. In this sense intermingling with the public, other professionals in the same clinical setting and clients is a tremendous responsibility of maintaining legal and ethical sanity during interrelations.
In daily execution of duties inevitably personal, profession and organization values conflict. They impinge on legal aspects of task completion and ethical rights of patients to quality care. It sometimes means denying service to patients who do not have applicable health insurance or those which are not covered by Medicaid.
Part2 — Explain how your professional responsibilities may or may not
Conflict with personal beliefs
(a) Dealing with an incompetent peer or physician
Legally, my role is to execute orders prescribed by the physician since he/she is deemed responsible due to licensure and training. At my level it is unethical to openly criticize the practice of a colleague or another health care professional. If in any way their conduct appears to be unprofessional there is a protocol which ought to be followed in resolving this issue. Never should personal values tempered by professional ego surface to make judgments and deal with the conduct outside professional ethics criteria.
(b) Terminating extraordinary means of life support
Again it is unethical practice for me as a professional to disregard orders of a physician as well as protocol of my organization. Therefore, the best thing to do if there is any value judgment surfacing on my part is to tell my value ego, ‘ sit down’ or address my concern at the appropriate level. Every organization has a chain of command for which incidences can be reported. As an allied health care practitioner on the team my first line of command is my immediate supervisor. Complaints can be channeled through this medium for clarification.
(c)Terminating or withholding ordinary means
(i. e., antibiotics, routine surgery, food) in hopeless cases
These are prescribed by the physician. However, in cases where the physician orders to withhold ordinary means my point of view is different. Based on the interpretation of my role as a health care provider definitely, except if the patient refuses or does not tolerate ordinary means, this is reasons for me to file a complaint and have the orders clarified.
Part 3 — Bill of Rights- Explain how you would include the specific
Points of this document in your chosen allied health profession.
The patient’s bill of right passed in US Senate, 2001 offers privileges to US citizens and legal residents to have ‘ their medical decisions made by a doctor; see a doctor, go to the closest emergency room, designate a pediatrician as a primary care doctor for children; keep the same doctor throughout their medical treatment; obtain the prescription drug their doctor prescribes; access a fair and independent appeals process if care is denied and hold their health plan accountable for harm’ ( Summary, 2001).
In previous paragraphs legislated functions of allied health practitioners were carefully outlined. Application of this bill of right would clarify reasons why this category of professional is found within the health care system. Precisely, it is to ensure that patients’ rights are upheld, especially, when other health care practitioners are busy evaluating whether insurances cover required care or patients ought to be discharged since their Insurance coverage makes them ineligible. Allied health professionals function to enhance health care delivery by working as a team in providing a variety of diagnostic, technical and therapeutic interventions (AAHS, 2011)
Precisely, they advocate that patients’ medical decisions are made by a doctor; they see a doctor, go to the closest emergency room, parents designate a pediatrician as a primary care doctor for children; they are allowed to keep the same doctor throughout their medical treatment; obtain the prescription drug their doctor prescribes; access a fair and independent appeals process if care is denied and hold their health plan accountable for harm’ (Summary, 2001).
Associations of Allied Health Schools, Definition of Allied Health Professionals 2011. Web. 10th
Jan, 2011 http://www. asahp. org/definition. htm
Davis, Matthew. ” Emotive power of US stems cell debate.” BBC News 25th May, 2005 . Print
Public Health Division, “ Oregon Death with Dignity Act” 2010 Web. Sept 9th 2011
http://public. health. oregon. gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Documents/year13. pdf
Summary of the McCain-Edwards-Kennedy Patients’ Bill of Rights S. 1052 2001. From the
Senate Democratic Caucus.