LegalEthics, Patients’ Rights, and HIV/AIDS
Whichplan can be devised to validate patients’ claims of denial ofservices?
Theplan needs to be devised to investigate the validity of patients’claims of denial of services. The head health care administrator hasto verify whether the claims made by those who reports they have beenstigmatized are true. The administrators can choose to conduct aninterview and interrogate how complainers were abused. Theadministrator can also choose to use surveys questions to besubmitted to the patients in their wards. The method will provideresults, but they it will not be as effective as questionnaire.Questionnaire, therefore, is another mechanism the administrator canemploy to investigate the claims. He/she can disburse thequestionnaire in the hospital primarily asking them some of theaspects of stigmatization. Observation can also be a mechanism, butit cannot be a reliable one.
Inthe hospital, the administrator can also devise mechanisms to addressthe proved claims of stigmatization. One of the ways is summoning thepractitioners around the table and demonstrates to them on theimportance of observing professional ethics. They should also beadvised on the cons of stigmatization of their patient. All thisconstitutes a human-resource approach. Review of policies andprocedures is also important. The medical practitioners should reviewpolicies so as to spot a point a correction. They are human beingswho are prone to error and forget. Review of the policies andprocedures that seem to be oppressive to them is mandatory so as aconflict does not occur between personal value and work ethics.
Understandingethics first is important so that a professional can be aware of theexpectations from the community hospital. Accordingto American Medical Association, Professional Ethics in hospitalsaims at improving patient care and the health in general. The ethicsalso aims at promoting physician professionalism. The physician mustbe able to notice the responsibility to patients, as well as that ofsociety. American Medical Association came up with principles thatare not primarily laws. The principles supervise the standards ofconduct that define the essentials of respectable behaviour for thephysicians.
Oneof the principles as outlined by American Medical Association is thata physician shall be required to observe the standards of procedures.the physician is also expected to be honest in his/her line of duty. He /she should demonstrate some aspects of competence and toavoiding fraud and deception at all cost. Another principle to beobserved by physician is dedication in providing competent medicalcare, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights. Thethird crucial principle is that the medical practitioner is supposedto respect the rights of patients, workmates and other healthprofessionals and also to safeguard patient’s confidence andprivacy as per regulations of the law. Respecting the law andrecognizing one responsibility is another principle that aids to seethe rights of patients adhered (Thomas, 2013).
AmericanMedical Association continues to provide another principle whichargues that a physician should continue to study, apply and advancehis/her specific scientific knowledge. They should also maintain acommitment to medical education and to make relevant informationavailable to patients, colleagues and the public in general. Thephysicians should also use his/her talents and to obtainconsultations of other health professionals as indicated. Theassociation continues to outline that a medical practitioner isentitled to participate in activities that aim at seeing thecommunity being empowered at large and to the betterment of publichealth. While not forgetting, Medical Ethics also implies thatresponsibility to the patient should be upheld as a paramount goaland the physician is reminded to provide access to medical servicesfor all people.Thereare various ways of how people are stigmatised.
Healthcare administrator receives intermittent complaints from patientswith HIV/AIDS. Patients phrase their complaints and their grievancesaround abuse and discrimination from medical practitioners. Theadministrator equates this abuses and discrimination with neglect ofobserving medical ethics. Considering that 50,000 Americans becomeinfected with HIV/AIDS annually, many patients, therefore, visitscommunity hospitals. One of the complaints reaching the careadministrator desk is sex abuse of the patients. The patients alsocomplain that at one time of their visit to the hospital were rapedby medical practitioners. Some medical specialists do not mindwhether a patient is infected or not. Most clients allege to havebeen sexually assaulted during medical care. Physical medicationssuch as sedatives and anaesthesia make a patient vulnerable to sexualpredators. Raping a patient is a violation of medical ethics becauserights of a patient are abused.
Thepatients also complained that their right to confidentiality is notheld. In one way or another, information of the patients is exchangedbetween practitioners in the hospital or even to other hospitalswithout their consent. Privacy and confidentiality is one of theprofessional ethics, but disclosing of patient information withouthis/her consent is going against the ethics. A professionalpractitioner is prohibited to disclose information that identifies apatient (Edward, 2003). HIV/AIDS patients also complain that they aredeprived services accorded to be provided to them. One of the vitalservices is counselling. Counselling as it is widely known isimportant to the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. They should bereceiving counselling about the consequences of their decisions.Advice regarding diets and relating to others is also important, butthese services are denied. Denial of the service is non-observing ofthe American Medical Procedures.
Disabled-HIV/AIDSpatients approach the health care administrator desk complaining ofneglect by medical practitioners. They go ahead to argue that theyare unequally treated in that the wealthy patients are treated morefairly than the poor ones. One of the other issues raised by disabledHIV/AIDS is that the accommodation is unreasonable (Thomas, 2013).The disabled patients are mostly ignored and cannot also deniedaccess to counselling and other preventive techniques. They aredenied services because medical practitioners assume them not to behaving a sexual life (Sana, 2013). Denying disabled peopleinformation exposes them to more risks like infecting more and morepeople. Shortage of equipments for the disabled frequents mostcommunity hospitals in the United States. The blind patients infectedwith HIV/AIDS, for example, are not able to access such services asBraille.
Pregnantwomen patients who are HIV/AIDS are not left behind in criticizingprofessional ethics of the physicians. Some pregnant- HIV/AIDS womenapproach the desk complaining that they were being sterilized withouttheir informed consent. They go ahead to argue that they were notaware that were sterilized. Patients of Substance Abuse, who are also HIV/AIDS positive, face amajor challenge at community hospitals in the United States (Edward,2013). Health care administrator receives complaints such as thatsubstance abuse treatment programs do not have the necessaryresources to assess and treat mental illness. The medicalpractitioners also refuse to connect the patient to mental healthservices to which the client is directed. Many mental health serviceproviders are not equipped to treat substance abuse disorders likeones infected with HIV/AIDS.
Thehealth care administrators also received suggestions such asphysicians do not maintain their patient’s contacts during andafter treatment. Therefore, the patient cannot be known of anydevelopment after being discharged.
Howcan different staff in hospital play a pivotal role in upholdingethics?
Thereare primary ways on how different staffing levels can play a centralrole in upholding ethical conduct. Supervisors in the hospital shouldreport errant practitioners to the relevant authorities as depictedby the standard laws of the hospital (Prannee, 2013). Management, forinstance, should take the initiative in punishing adamant errantdoctors who continue to violate the code of ethics. Treating patientswith dignity, is one of the major ethics that many practitioners findthemselves violating (Harriet, 2005). To ensure patients are createdwith dignity, different staff in the hospital should each act as awatchdog to another.
Howcan legal ramifications be related to professional staff regardingethical treatment of HIV/AIDS patients?
Headdoctors, for instance, are supposed to supervise their juniors and toensure their directives are followed. They should also visit theirpatients themselves rather than waiting for a report from theirjunior doctors. It is against the law to violate ethical codes. Theadministrator should devise a way of punishing the offenders withinthe hospital laws rather than forwarding the violators to civilcourts. Slapping a patient, for instance, is an offense that can makeone be taken to court of law. The administrator can punish theoffender by suspension.
Whichplan can be devised for hospitals to involve the community in theprocess of de-stigmatization?
Stigmatizationstarts at community level mainly through denial of food, verbal abuseand refusal to share utilities. De-stigmatization should start atcommunity basis. The head health care administrator should devise acommunity relations plan that sees in the hospital ways of servingHIV/AIDS persons mainly encompassing on de-stigmatization of thoseafflicted (Sana, 2013). One of the ways is coordination of thecommunity and hospital in a holistic practice of de-stigmatization.The community should be involved to create awareness about theepidemic. People at the grass-root are ones who lives with thepatients of HIV/AIDS. Therefore, engaging them in educating themasses on the importance of visiting hospital is a crucial turningpoint to ensure the problems are addressed at their early stages.
Thepatients being stigmatized should be involved in the reconciliationprocess with the medical practitioners. Victims of rape while undermedication should be advised of forgetting the incidents andencouraged to pursue medication with no fear. The hospital can createthis alert through the people who have the quickest access to thevictims. The process aims at increasing the tolerance of HIV/AIDSvictims at the community level. The predominant strategy underlyingthe intervention is education through making available factualinformation about HIV/AIDS (Thomas, 2013).
Anothercommunity based plan to de-stigmatization of HIV/AIDS persons isusing mass media to conduct countrywide campaigns relating toHIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behavior representation of arelatively understudied but widely implemented intervention inresource-limited states (Sana, 2013). The mass-media campaigns employradio and television. The campaign aims at promoting communitybuilding and community organizing. Community involvement is a centraleffective alternative to ensure there is a great involvement ofstigmatized victims. Great involvement of HIV/AIDS patients aims atrealization of the rights and responsibilities of HIV/AIDS victims,including the right to self-empowerment and participation in makingdecision-making that affect their lives.
Insummary, Patients afflicted to HIV/AIDS faces stigmatization incommunity hospitals. The patients are abused and discriminated in oneway, or another. The basis of their discrimination includes accordingto one race, level of income and physical abilities. It is beingobserved that pregnant women and disabled are mostly stigmatized inthe hospital because of their inabilities such as inability to walk,hear or talk. The problems can be addressed when necessary measureshave to be taken into considerations. There must a holisticcoordination of all hospital-professional staff to curb the vice.Involvement of community members in the process of curbing the viceis also an approach that is very effective. It is the combination ofthe community and hospital that can yield reasonable results againstde-stigmatization.
Edward,C. (2003). RethinkingAIDS prevention: learning from successes in developing countries.London:Westport, Conn.
Harriet,D. (2005).Understanding HIV/AIDS stigma: a theoretical and methodologicalanalysis. CapeTown: HSRC press.
Prannee,L. (2013). Stigma,discrimination and living with HIV/AIDS: a cross-culturalperspective. NewYork: Dordrchet.Sana,L. (2013). Mentalhealth practitioner`s guide to HIV/AIDS.New York: Springer.Thomas,A. (2013)Minority populations and health: an introduction to healthdisparities in the united states. SanFrancisco: Calif.