Ethics and Law in Healthcare
Even though the law has the final say when it comes to medical cases, ethics play a crucial role in interpreting what the law says. These roles do not only protect patients from any form of harm but also affect any individual who is involved in the medical field. Despite these laws, the medical field continues to offer many attractive careers to those people who are interested in this field. This paper discusses some of the ethical issues and laws that are found in the healthcare sector.
All the laws that have been passed in order to protect patients are a result of numerous ethical consideration that have taken place in the past. . For instance, doctors have been forced by laws to inform patients of the risks involved when it comes to performing a certain procedure (Medical Law, 2019). 50 years ago, doctors would hold back information from the patient, even if they knew of any procedure risks that may occur as a result of the procedure. However, in today’s world holding back such information is considered a crime. According to medical laws, such an act goes against the ethical expectation that people in the medical fraternity are expected to meet.
One good example of ethical concern that has been interpreted by the law is in the issue of abortion. People who are against abortion feel that abortion should be treated the same way rape cases are interpreted. In another scenario, there those who believe that it is unethical to force a woman to continue with the pregnancy even if she is against it. According to law, a doctor can terminate the pregnancy if he/she comes to the conclusion that the pregnant woman is not mentally fit to continue with the pregnancy. Many doctors interpreted such kind of law in that women have the right to decide whether or not they should keep the pregnancy. It is in such cases that debates have emerged to change the law regarding abortions to suit the reflection of society.
Issues that were considers unethical many years ago are now being discussed today. One such case is when a patient considered it no longer important to continue with life due to a certain medical condition. The abortion law that was passed in 1967 is a good of such law that has raised debates by the society. Another case of such laws is the rights given to doctors to end the life of a person. The death of Tony Bland in the late nineties resulted in debates on how the society should approach issues concerning end of life scenario. As a result of turning off Bland’s life support sparked debates on making changes in laws touching on end of life care (Medical Law, 2019).
In more practical situation ethics and medical law should be used to solve challenging issues such as allocation of resources meant to help patients. Doctors find themselves in difficult situations when deciding on whether to use the resources they have been given to save the life on one person or use the same resources to save the lives of ten other people. Such situation is faced by people in the medical field everyday which sometime end up in medical legal cases when patients and family members feel that the correct medical decision was not considered.
Conclusively, ethics and medical law is something that patients and people in the medical field encounter every day. These laws are not only meant to protect the rights of patients, but also ensure that medical professionals perform their duties ethically. However, some of the laws in the medical field need to be changed to meet the expectations of the society. Changing some of these laws that were passed many years ago will go a long way in making the lives of people in the medical field much easier.
Medical Law. (2019). Medical Law and Ethics. Retrieved from http://www.unsystemceb.org/medical-law-ethics.htm