Ethical Healthcare Issues Paper

1427 words - 6 pages

There are many ethical health care issues that are currently affecting our society. One of the current health care issues that are affecting our society is blood transfusion, the ability to receive medical treatment. Many issues within blood transfusions make it an ethical issue, affecting our society because it enables patients to receive blood transfusions in many situations. Many reasons behind blood transfusions are done for injury, major surgeries, and related blood disorders.
Blood transfusion is a medical treatment that replaces blood loss during serious injuries, surgery, disease, lack of blood due to blood disorders and illness (Torphy, 2012). Blood donated comes from another ...view middle of the document...

During transfusion, a nurse monitors any signs or reaction. Transfusion may be discontinued if severe reactions occur. After a blood transfusion, vital signs are checked to see any abnormality or reactions, and IV is removed. After blood has been collected from donor, blood is transferred to blood banks where screening is done for any infectious disease, blood type, count, and any harmful reactions. Blood types include A, B, AB, or O. Blood transfusion must match patient’s blood type, if it does not, antibodies can attack new blood causing patients to become ill. Blood transfusions are done 5 million Americans each year with little complications and rare issues (Torphy, 2012).
Ethical Principles and Issues Surrounding Blood Transfusions
Ethical principles in healthcare interrelate and supplement each other in one way of another. Purpose of ethical principles is to provide quality care and respect patient’s wishes and make sure not to act against morals. To accomplish this, there are many ethical principles that can assist in health care.
The Principle of Autonomy is the freedom to determine one’s action with their own. The actions determines by a person’s independent stance and ability to think (Morrison, 2011). Healthcare providers need to respect patients who may not want any treatment that go against morals and values. Legal and ethical framework considering the development guidelines for transfusion of blood in adults and children apply to ethical principles should have informed consent (Grainger, 1997). It is unethical to precede any blood transfusions without consent, information, and respecting patient’s rights. Physicians and nurses should obtain patients informed consent before procedure. By doing so, explanations of benefits, and risks receiving blood products are also relevant during consent process. Consent must be informed so the patient can understand the procedure, risks and any alternative treatments needed if blood transfusions does not work. Generally, there are incidents where consent was not given, nor information provided before proceeding blood transfusions. That violates the ethical principle of autonomy because patients are not given the right to consent voluntarily. Generally, if the patient can understand the information relevant to making the decision, retain information as part of decision process, and communicate when patient has capacity to do so (Desborough, 2013). If the patient wishes not to be treated with blood, wishes need to be respected even if results are morbidity or mortality.
Nonmaleficence and Beneficence
Second and third ethical principle in healthcare applies to this health care issue for well-being of patients. Nonmaleficence is the act of both ethical and legal practices of healthcare where healthcare providers have the duty to provide care to avoid harming patients (Morrison, 2011). It is the balance against harm and greater benefit to ensure ethics. This also means that...

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