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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Qmentum Quarterly: Ethics in healthcare

The Summer 2014 issue of Qmentum Quarterly put out by Accreditation Canada has a very interesting article on ethics in healthcare by Robert Butcher titled, "Supporting Ethical Practice in Your Community".

The article starts with the following posers:

A homecare nurse calls you with concerns
about a client who has been discharged from
the hospital. She has questions about his home
environment and his ability to look after himself.
“The place is squalid,” she says. “He is unsteady
and forgetful, but adamant that he wants to be
at home. I’m worried.”

During flu season your staff’s vaccination rate
is at 70% and the local public health officer has
declared an outbreak in the community. Should
you require unvaccinated staff to get vaccinated,
take Tamiflu, or stay home?

The Executive Director of your hospital’s
foundation has just called. They have received a
very generous offer from a local businessperson
to fund and name a new wing. He is involved
in a bitter dispute in the community over the
development of large tracts of good agricultural
land. The donation is a clear attempt to court
public favour; to use your good name and
reputation to enhance his.

What should you do in any of these cases?
Better yet, what should your organization do?

The article goes on to lay out how an organization can develop an ethics framework within which ethical decisions can be made.

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