Legal And Ethical Dilemmas Of The Healthcare Industry

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Controversial topics exist in nearly every industry, but perhaps none more dramatic and differentiated than those issues in the Healthcare industry. Legal and ethical dilemmas are constantly present within the Healthcare industry, so it is important to understand the governing laws and that there is an understandable diversity of opinions on these sensitive topics, which can lead to differing opinions about the “right” thing to do in a particular situation (Harris, 2008). One such topic is that of a patient’s right to refuse treatment. The right to refuse medical treatment in the United States of America is typically traced back to the judicial opinions of court cases: Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsford, 141 U.S. 250, 251 (1891), which held that all individual’s had the right to possession and control of his person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law, and Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital, 105 N.E. 92, 93 (N.Y. 1914), which went a step further and stated that a surgeon who performs an operation without patient’s consent commits an assault, for which they are liable in damages (Standler, 2012). There are numerous court cases and various opinions on the topic of a patient’s right to refuse medical treatment, and this type of constant criticism leads to changes in law, the healthcare industry temperament, physician behavior, and patient treatment. Through legal action there has been a precedence
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