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…
“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 Leyla about her diagnosis in the above case arises from the conflicting cultural norms between Leyla’s family and the attending physician. One of the main ethical questions is: was it necessary for Dr. Fox to disregard the family’s wishes, religion and cultural norms. By refusing to wait for Mr. Ansari to pray, insisting on telling Leyla himself and interrupting Mrs. Ansari’s prayer, Dr. Fox was insensitive to the patient and family’s religious and cultural needs. Furthermore, insisting on telling Leyla himself, even though he noticed that she was stressed and her family informed him that she was too vulnerable at the time to handle her diagnosis, brings up issues of competence. There is also the issue of informed consent and

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