The World Health Organisation constitution 1946 determined that each individual present in this world possess the right to achieve the highest attainable healthcare (Elger, Handtke & Wangmo, 2015). Therefore, according to this legislation, it is the responsibility of the state's or territory's healthcare facilities to provide the patients in need with accurate, timely, accessible and affordable care with provision of safe and healthy potable water, food, health information and education, shelter sanitation and gender equality, as determinants of quality healthcare (Beecher & Henry, 2017). Further, the healthcare facility should not discriminate among patients due to their age, race, ethnicity, or other personal or professional status. For the purpose, each nation develops few ethical and professional codes for healthcare professionals, compliance with which is necessary for them. In this assignment a case of a student Amos from Malawi, Australia will be discussed. Further, the ethical issues, the violence of right to healthcare and professional code of conduct will be discussed in the light of the given case study.
Amos was a student in a school in Malawi, Australia and was residing in a residential property away from the school. There were other students who used to live within the school's boarding facility. While facing a cholera outbreak, entire students of the school were admitted to a nearby hospital. The symptoms include severe muscle cramp, abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, vomiting and thrust and hence required instant healthcare interventions. However, due to the presence of less healthcare facility, the healthcare facility decided to provide health care to students who were living in school boarding, ignoring the healthcare needs of others. This was the primary and biggest violation of healthcare ethical principles as the healthcare professionals rejected the healthcare need and urgency of Amos. The severity of the consequences was such that Amos had to lose his life due to the decision of the healthcare facility (Elger, Handtke & Wangmo, 2015). Therefore, according to the rights of healthcare, the healthcare facilities breached the ethics related to justice, veracity, utilitarian, non-maleficence, and beneficence. These are the basic healthcare ethical principles that are implemented in the healthcare facility to protect the patients' rights to achieve quality care (May et al., 2014).
The ethics of utilitarian decide the right or wrong of any action by determining its consequences. In the given case study, the healthcare facility was aware of the situation of the locality and the cholera outbreak as the entire students in the school and the community were affected with cholera and went to the healthcare facility for treatment. However, despite knowing the adverse effect of healthcare refusal, the refused to treat Amos and returned him from the healthcare facility. Thereby, according to Stahl et al. (2014), the facility breached the healthcare policy and ethics related to Utilitarian. Further, the other healthcare ethics related to non-maleficence, beneficence, veracity, and justice was breached. The ethical principle of autonomy determined that the healthcare facility does not possess any right to take steps that can affect the patients' health positively or negatively. Therefore, it is the duty of healthcare facilities to mention the intervention, prior to application on a patient. However, in the case study, without providing prior information to Amos or providing him a chance to shift in a nearby healthcare facility, the hospital stopped providing treatment to Amos, the consequence of which was his death. The third ethical principle which was violated was non-maleficence, according to which, it is the responsibility of the healthcare facilities to take care of the patients is that they cannot be harmed through the actions, policies or healthcare interventions, intentionally or unintentionally (Kanekar & Bitto, 2012). This helps to protect the healthcare autonomy right of the patient. However, in the case study, the action performed by the healthcare facility was intentional and through proper strategy, they refused to provide Amos with healthcare interventions so that those medicines and services can be provided to students living in boarding. This action was not a mistake, which can be ignored in this ethical consideration, but it was a set of fundamental decision that the healthcare facility took for the benefit of few students, overlooking the severe need of Amos, hurting his health intentionally. Therefore, breaching the ethics of non-maleficence (Kirschen et al., 2012). The third ethical principle, which was breached by the health care authority was the ethics of beneficence. According to Chnag and Grey (2013), the role of beneficence is to provide the patients with appropriate care so that the health of the patient can be influenced positively. It is the professional responsibility and moral duty of the healthcare facility to provide the patient with adequate care so that the health of the patient can be improved. On the other hand, in the given case study, the healthcare facilities rejected to provide him care and therefore was the primary reason behind affecting his health negatively, reducing his physical ability to combat the infection, water, and fluid retention power and eventually died. Therefore, the healthcare professionals and their decision making became the primary reason behind the death of the student (Kanekar & Bitto, 2012). Therefore, they again fail to comply with the ethical principle of beneficence. The ethical principle related to justice is the demand for equality and fairness throughout the healthcare process. It should be noted that the primary role of a healthcare facility is to provide equal healthcare provision to each person seeking help in the facility. However, in the given case study, the healthcare facility discriminated amongst the students living in the school hostel and Amos, as he used to live outside the school premise. Further, he was not given equal opportunity to access healthcare and was asked to leave the healthcare facility and due to not getting treatment at the correct time, he died (Naudé & Bornman, 2014). Therefor breaching of ethical principle related to justice was also violated and the healthcare facility rejected the equal healthcare need of the patient completely. Thereby breaching the principles of ethics related to justice (Land & Dossetor, 2012). Finally, the final principle related to healthcare which was breached in the given case study was related to veracity, in which the healthcare facilities should always provide truth and positive messages to the patients so that they harsh messages cannot affect the mental health of patients. In the given case study, the facility where Amos seek health care was given all negative messages that broke the mental strength of patient and then become the reason for his death (Naudé & Bornman, 2014). Therefore, these are the ethical principles and professional code of conduct that the healthcare facility in the locality of Malawi, Australia breached that made Amos lose his life without being given a chance to recover from the disease.
There are several ways that should be implemented by the healthcare facility in Malawi, where Amos and his schoolmates were admitted due to the outbreak of Cholera. Further, Amos was rejected to provide healthcare because he was not a resident of school boarding, discriminating his healthcare needs. The healthcare facility faced a shortage of resources when this large number of patients were admitted to the hospital due to cholera (Osler, 2016). Therefore, in such situation, instead of rejecting to take care of a patient, it should be implemented several steps so that Amos's life could have been saved. The first recommendation is, the healthcare facility could have been transferred few patients in another healthcare facility using the hospital ambulance, so that their life could have been saved, instead of rejecting the healthcare need of those patients. Further, from the case study, it can be easily understood that healthcare professionals working in that healthcare facility were not aware of the healthcare-related ethical and professional conducts (Lowry & Peterson, 2012). Therefore, they should be provided with healthcare ethical and professional codes training session so that they can understand the value of these ethical principles prior to rejecting any patients healthcare needs. Further, the healthcare facility should seek help from the local government to expand their facility so that they cannot reject any patient's healthcare needs. Further, the school should also understand the value of each student and instead of keeping silence, the school facility should have been helped the student and admit him in other hospitals (Kanekar & Bitto, 2012).
While concluding the assignment, it should be mentioned that right to access highest attainable healthcare is the fundamental need of each human in this world and it is the duty of states and nations to make sure that this right can be maintained in their vicinity. Amos was a student in a school in Malawi, Australia and due to some obvious reasons, were living in a residential home near the school, not using the school boarding. However, this became the reason for his death, as due to this reason, the healthcare facility rejected his need for healthcare for students who used to live in school boarding. In this assignment, several ethical and professionals codes related breaching was discussed with the context of Amos such as code of beneficence, non-maleficence, veracity, autonomy, justice, utilitarian and human right of healthcare. Further, a set of recommendation was also provided so that the healthcare facility can avoid such situation in future.
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