Professional Ethics Paper

1896 Words Apr 2nd, 2012 8 Pages
Professional Ethics Paper
Barbara Morrissey
HCS/478
January 23, 2012
Ann-Marie Peckham

Professional Ethics Paper
Medical professionals have a responsibility to their clients to deliver safe, quality care with regard for patients’ individuality, needs, and desires. Patients seek out professional health care with their own goals in mind. Their goals may not match ours, but we as health care providers have a duty to inform and treat our clients with competence and afford them the utmost dignity and respect. In short, we must be ethical in our practice.
We have an equal obligation to uphold the law. But law and ethics are not always synchronous. What may be legal in practice may be unethical; and what may seem the ethical choice
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This is also known as a consequentialist theory because an action is judged ethical based on its consequences. However, teleologists disagree on which actions are deemed right and which are wrong (Guido, 2010). Utilitarianism, a common type of consequential theory, states that the ethical action is one that does the most good for the most people (Hughs, 2002).
Hughs (2002) states ethical theories are only useful when applied in conjunction with the four primary ethical principles of health care: Respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.
Ethical Principles
These ethical principles are useful in health care when applied to the clinical decision-making process.
Respect for autonomy
Autonomy speaks to personal freedom and self-determination. Essentially, it is affording patients the right to make their own decision regarding treatments affecting their body, health, and life, even if the health care providers do not agree with those decisions. Respecting patients’ right to autonomy communicates that we as health care professionals give them the freedom to choose a course of treatment that best serves their chosen lifestyle.
Informed consent exemplifies this principle. The medical team gives patients the facts concerning treatment options and allows them to decide for themselves whether or not to proceed, not based on what is ‘best’ for them as deemed by the medical staff but what they feel is best for themselves.
Beneficence and…

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