ethics research paper

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When a patient is ordered to move from curative to palliative care, it can really take a toll on the patient, his or her family, as well as the physician. This can be due to the fact that end-of-life care is usually seen as the end. To make this worse, the healthcare providers do not always relay such information in a way that the family will completely understand. Sometimes, the healthcare professional will not let the family know that end-of-life care is necessary; he or she will just continue to give the patient medications that are futile to their well-being. In order to prevent this, there should be a set guideline for healthcare professionals to learn and follow when telling patients and their families that end-of-life care will be the necessity from that point on. Keywords: palliative, end-of-life care

When dealing with ethical behavior in the healthcare setting, it should be a known fact that not every situation will be handled the way they should be. An example of this would be the way end-of-life issues are addressed. While the decision-making process is in the hands of the family in most cases, it is up to the healthcare professional to discuss all possible options as well as his or her opinion of what may be best for the patient. Because the life expectancy of Americans has made great progress, this is the trade-off. The Hastings Center states: When it comes to the final phase of life, there has been great progress. We now have good evidence of how best to relieve suffering, provide good palliative care, resolve conflicts, and honor the individual preferences of dying patients, but our health system is slow to incorporate this knowledge. Health care professionals are seldom reimbursed for discussing the end of life with patients, have limited time to address the subject, and often are poorly prepared to talk about such sensitive matters. They may also be unaware of what is ethically and legally permissible or confused by continuing ethical debates on issues like physician-assisted suicide or determining death in the context of organ transplantation. As the 21st century progresses and the massive baby boom generation ages, health care professionals, patients, and families face unprecedented challenges. There will be hard choices to make requiring careful ethical analysis, balancing stakeholder interests, health care professional accountability, and the need for civil discourse in the public square. To better deal with this issue, there should be set guidelines and training for professionals in order to have better conversations regarding end-of-life problems among themselves and with other professionals as well. This is not only a problem in the United States, but also in other countries around the world. Ryu (2013) states the following: In October 2009, the Korean Medical Association also responded and proposed guidelines regarding EOL treatments. The guidelines classify terminally-ill patients into four categories depending on their ability to make decisions and their neurologic state and the range of EOL treatments that should be discussed and decided. However, there are still no guidelines with authority or legislature regarding EOL treatments. Main Body

According to Chan and Webster (2010), “Obstacles to quality end-of-life care have also been identified and may include failure to recognize treatment futility, lack of communication among decision makers, and no agreement on a course of end-of-life care and failure to implement a timely end-of-life plan of care.” Sometimes, healthcare professionals tend to give families false hope that the treatment they will provide to the patient will work, or even that continuing said treatment will at some point improve the patient’s condition. This could be due to physicians getting too emotionally connected with the family or the patient, causing the physician not to want to be the bearer of bad news. A study conducted by M....
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