Cultural Competence and Informed Consent in Health Care: Confronting a Fetal Abnormality
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“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”—Mark Twain. Health care is a profession that should epitomize kindness. Cultural competence, being open-minded to other cultures, is essential for effective and kind healthcare in our current multicultural population. This case analysis will examine the ethical dilemmas, moral theories, principles, alternative actions, and give a recommendation about the morally best action for the case “Confronting a fetal abnormality” by Karen Peterson-Iyer.
At first glance, this case might appear to be ethically sound and the conduct of Dr. Fox was that of a normal Western doctor. However, upon further analysis a large number of issues arise. The debate over whether to inform…show more content… Furthermore, if we apply rule utilitarianism to the situation, wherein we accept a rule that states that doctors should disregard religious, cultural views and family wishes, this rule would never be accepted because it does not produce the most good for the most people. (Collier & Haliburton, 5-10)
We would come to similar conclusions that Dr. Fox’s actions were ethically unsound if we apply Kant’s categorical imperative; this test asks that we not make exceptions when doing what is morally required. Dr. Fox violated this by authorizing the friend as a translator and violating Mrs. Ansari’s autonomy. Under normal circumstances, in which there is no communication barrier, Dr. Fox would have informed the patient himself. In this situation, the patient’s, autonomy and confidentiality were violated. Furthermore, Dr. Fox violated the means ends formulation, as he treated the friend as a means and not an end. Instead, of respecting Leyla and the friend as autonomous and rational beings, he used the friend as a translator without giving thought to the individual’s opinion, emotions and needs. (Collier & Haliburton, 15-17)
Paternalism not so long ago was the model used in patient relations, it embodies two main ethical principles: beneficence—doing good- and non-maleficence—preventing harm. Dr. Fox could have prevented harm by considering the family’s wishes, and would have done