Ethical and Legal Issues In the correctional setting, the patient is at the core of professional nursing practice. 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. Currently she is a dean of students at a large, public university. Healthcare informatics is a design of communication, information, and documentation in an electronic health record (EHR). Our programs are designed to meet your need for flexibility. Advances in data storage and processing technology have dramatically changed the speed and volume of data analysis capabilities and given rise to predictive analytics. HIDE THIS PAPER GRAB THE BEST PAPER 98.1% of users find it useful. 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. It's necessary to work … 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. Legal and ethical issues arise frequently, and are commonly encountered in certain fields such as medicine, healthcare and politics. False Claims & Whistleblower Suits. Because they hold large amounts of very personal data, they also carry the risk of privacy violation. The doctor wants to see a child for a follow-up visit, but his parents refuse, because of  limited insurance coverage. We offer unique combination of excellence and support. Striking a balance between quality care and efficiency can be challenging. The technology offers a promising benefit for treating patients who struggle with medication adherence, but critics cite concerns about who should have access to such data and how it can be protected. Here are just six of the major ethical issues facing the healthcare industry in 2020. Conversations between a physician and a patient are strictly confidential, as is information about an individual’s medical condition. Author Karen Trotochaud 1 Affiliation 1 Center for Ethics, Emory University, USA. 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. Who gets care when the number of patients exceeds a hospital’s capacity? Specific provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, define exactly what information can be released and to whom. 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. A teenager requests medication for a painful condition, but his parents refuse, based on religious beliefs. 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. Dr. Dpwd’s writing experience includes published research, training materials and hundreds of practical online articles. A final theme addressed in this issue elucidates the legal and health policy conflicts that arise with the use of AI in health care. Robotics are already heavily used in healthcare; robot-assisted surgeries are now commonplace, and robotic prosthetics are advancing rapidly. Legally and ethically, health care professionals cannot violate patient trust, which is an essential component of treatment. A rapid response during pandemics is crucial, but rushing healthcare efforts can add risk to processes such as drug trials. 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. 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. A patient without insurance asks if she can have free samples of the medicine she needs. 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. AI refers to the ability of computers to mimic human intelligence and learning. Category: Healthcare Administration, November 9, 2020  |  The growing use of AI and robotics also raises issues of healthcare technology ethics. Information must be sufficient and understandable, to enable the patient to make informed decisions that are in his best interest. The medical secretary thinks she may have mistakenly mailed Patient A’s medical records to Patient B. 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. Appropriate actions may include disciplining or terminating a member of a health care team. The doctor disagrees with the patient’s request to forgo treatment. The term “big data” refers to the proliferation of digital information in the modern age. 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. Hospitals May Have to Ration Care During the Pandemic. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. 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. Health care professionals continually face ethical and legal issues in the workplace, putting them at risk for burnout. Access to care poses difficult ethical and legal dilemmas for health care professionals, who sign an oath not to harm their patient. The Core of Legal and Ethical Issues 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. 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. A patient asks his oncology nurse to go on a date with him the day he is discharged. 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. Malpractice and medical lawsuits can be devastating to any medical practice. 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. 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 a patient dies, privacy rights still apply. Health care professionals must maintain appropriate boundaries. Due to staff shortages, a nurse is reassigned to another area, where the nursing staff lacks sufficient skill or training. Patient safety may be compromised, resulting in injury and lawsuits. 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. Patients are vulnerable, and that vulnerability needs to be acknowledged and respected at all times. Customized medicine and other advanced treatments raise issues of income inequality and equal access to healthcare. An insurance company refuses to pay for a procedure or a drug that a doctor strongly believes the patient needs. This is an ethical concern that has legal implications. 1530 Words 7 Pages. At the same time, it has highlighted ethical issues that arise in vector-borne diseases more generally. The ethical code of health care professionals states that patients have the right to know the truth about their medical condition, and that they can choose treatment options. A malpractice suit is more likely to happen if a patient claims that his condition was misdiagnosed by a harried medical practitioner. 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. Pressure from hospital administrations, insurance companies and managed care organizations further constrain the choices for treatment and prescriptions. 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 illegal act, or one that is against the law, is almost always unethical. 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. 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. The protection of private patient information is one of the most important ethical and legal issues in the field of healthcare. Legal and “Ethical issues in healthcare are common. Protecting patient privacy is essential, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. 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. 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. 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. 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  |  Intervention is required if mutual respect is not shown or if boundaries are crossed. 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. Legal and “Ethical issues in healthcare are common. Ethical and legal issues in the use of health information technology to improve patient safety The Institute of Medicine reports, To Err is Human and the subsequent Crossing the Quality Chasm spurred an increased attention nationally to problems in patient safety, in particular medication errors. Start studying 1.04 Legal & Ethical Issues in Healthcare Study Guide. However, the ability of AI-powered tools to analyze virtually any dataset, from income data to criminal records, raises concerns about its potential for abuse. The first ethical violation that Dr. Smith is guilty of is having a personal relationship with a patient. Balancing care quality and efficiency. The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus provides a grim illustration of ethical issues in pandemic planning and response. A plastic surgeon discloses names of his well-known clients at a cocktail party. . 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. It thus has an obligation both toward government, which controls it, and toward the public that it s… Fear of legal action may also cause providers to engage in “defensive medicine.” Writ… Addressing the difficult ethical issues influencing the science and business of healthcare requires leaders with exceptional knowledge and skills. The Legal And Ethical Issues Of Health Care Of A Child Essay. Nurses discuss a patient in the hospital cafeteria, where confidential information is overheard by visitors. When ethical principles are violated, a civil lawsuit often follows. As healthcare data collection technology advances, the industry faces questions about how to handle automatically collected data. The daily loss of life caused by the virus created an immediate healthcare crisis, prompting a rush to develop a vaccine and the enactment of social distancing measures in countries around the world. Many modern medical devices are capable of reporting an incredible variety of health information, with or without a patient’s knowledge. Deciding how much risk is justified under the circumstances is an ongoing debate. Elite care … 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. Helping students succeed has been her passion while serving in many areas of student affairs and adjunct teaching. A medical coder accidentally put sensitive medical records in a hallway trash bin, instead of in the shredder. When pandemics and other widespread medical emergencies do overwhelm the capacity of medical facilities, even starker ethical questions arise. Links to information on ethical issues in the practice of public health. 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. A doctor treats her own family members when the family's primary care doctor is out of town. A patient persists in telling sexist jokes, which offends nursing home staff. AI used for health-related predictive analysis relies on large, diverse datasets, including EHRs. Medical professionals routinely make difficult decisions, including life-or-death calls, for patients and their families. The first ethical violation that Dr. Smith is guilty of is having a personal relationship with a patient. 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. 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. Potential medical applications include analysis of radiologic images. Ethical and efficient governance mechanisms are essential for the pharmaceutical sector and health care delivery. . Category: Nursing, November 15, 2020  |  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. The remainder of this chapter focuses on health care issues and planning for health decisions. AHU Online is an investment in your future self and career. However, the law doesn’t apply to nongenetic predictive data. Patients expect that they can speak to healthcare professionals in confidence, and both legal and ethical guidelines exist to preserve that confidentiality. 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. Issues by nature are many and, today, many issues are brought up and are questioned upon their varying natures. Wrestling with equal treatment vs. VIP treatment for donors and other influential people. Efforts to lasso health care costs puts increasing pressure on staff to do more with less. When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, tens of thousands of cases had been confirmed across more than 100 countries. Successful treatment outcomes can give rise to deep feelings of gratitude that may possibly mistaken for physical attraction. “First, do no harm.” The seemingly simple maxim of healthcare proves far more complex when considered in the context of rapidly advancing medical technology, constant budget constraints, and new health threats. An Ethical and Legal Analysis”, Deloitte Insights, “Using Predictive Analytics in Health Care”, Electronic Health Reporter, “First Do No Harm: The Ethics of Healthcare in 2020”, GINAhelp.org, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Healthcare Financial Management Association, “Beyond Compliance: Healthcare CFOs Face Many Situations in Which Ethics Can Guide Decision-making”, HealthITAnalytics, “What Are Precision Medicine and Personalized Medicine?”, HealthTech, “How Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Is Improving Patient Care”, Medical Xpress, “Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Raises Legal and Ethical Concerns”, National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Considerations for Ethics Review of Big Data Health Research: A Scoping Review”, RoboticsBiz, “8 Ethical Issues in the Use of Robotics in Healthcare”, STAT, “Research in the Time of Coronavirus: Keep It Ethical”, The Conversation, “The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Us to Ask Some Very Hard Questions. 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. Conversations between a patient and a doctor are strictly confidential and access to them is strictly monitored. A health care professional may be torn between the ethics of beneficence (doing good) and autonomy (respecting patient’s wishes). Sharing patient data for secondary purposes, such as population health programs, requires either consent from the patient or anonymization of the data. 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. Legal and Ethical Issues for Health Professionals - Essay 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. A pioneer in online health sciences programs since 2001. A patient’s family asks the doctor not to tell their elderly mother that her tumor is malignant. . Population health can discover widespread health problems or locate segments of the population that have a particularly high occurrence of a disease, for example. Nearly every decision that’s made has ethical implications–for patients, for providers and for healthcare leaders. 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. Nurses are subject to a plethora of legal, ethical, and professional duties which can be very challenging on a day to day basis. Confidentiality is linked to patient privacy, but has to do more with the conduct of the healthcare professional than with documentation. 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. Both ethically and legally, healthcare professionals are prohibited from sharing information about patients with other people. 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. Accidental or intentional disclosure of private patient information can result in litigation, huge fines and jail time for the violator. Mary Dowd holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master’s in counseling and student affairs from Minnesota State Mankato. What organizations should have access to data that can predict a patient’s future health 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. 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. Customized medicine refers to the creation of bioidentical limbs and organs to replace injured or missing ones. Such analysis promises more accurate diagnostic and therapeutic assessments, but assessments based purely on technology and data, no matter how accurate, lack an essential human touch. Health care professionals must know and follow HIPPA laws, and cannot disclose patient information. 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. The Job Description of a Telephone Triage Nurse, AMA: Code of Medical Ethics: Privacy, Confidentiality and Medical Records, AMN Healthcare: Five Top Ethical Issues in Healthcare. In some instances, legal regulations prohibit people from carrying out certain tasks, such as administering life-saving support, that are considered morally permissible actions. A nursing home patient offers cash to a certified nursing assistant who has money problems. 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. The related field of precision medicine, or personalized medicine, also uses genomic data. 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 advent of predictive and prescriptive algorithms that can analyze large amounts of data also increases the potential privacy risks associated with stored medical specimens. How do you test the efficacy of a new medical technology without harming patients? Through the practice of de-anonymization, or data re-identification, anonymous data can be compared with publicly available information and matched to an individual. Population health is the analysis of health outcomes of large groups of people. Genuine concern, trust and empathy should frame all interactions. 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. The patient asks the X-ray technician if her doctor is disclosing everything he knows about her test results. There are a variety of ethical and legal issues that arise with the growing use of health information technology in clinical settings. 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. The digitization of patient information provides enormous benefits. 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