Health Care Access Ethical Dilemma Access to Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Health Care Access Ethical Dilemma

Access to health care services is not equitable in the United States. The 15% of Americans without health insurance coverage find it extremely difficult to access health care services (Trotochaud, 2006). This is an injustice that should be addressed. Patients going to rural health care facilities face myriad challenges that are occasioned by stigmatization. Stigmatization of illnesses that patients grapple with occasions ethical conflicts. In the process, patients' right to privacy and confidentiality are often violated. There are practical guidelines that can be used to minimize ethical conflicts. It is imperative that confidentiality and trust be made paramount under circumstances where healthcare professionals deal with patients with stigmatizing illnesses.

A typical example of confidentiality, overlapping relationships and lack of willingness to seek care can be attested to in a situation where a woman working at a local store finds out that her partner is HIV-positive and also suspects that she has been infected but is hesitant to seek treatment at the nearest primary health care clinic because
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the primary healthcare physician and the lab technician at the clinic are regular customers at her store. They are also her family friends. The lady fears that by going to the clinic she may be stigmatized and discriminated against because of her health status. She is not even sure whether her diagnosis should be kept a secret from her family. Any health care provider including this primary health care physician and the lab technician should at all times safeguard the guiding principles of their profession (Tummala & Roberts, 2009). While factoring in issues pertaining to concepts of privacy and voluntarism, health care providers should at all times know that they right to self-rule or self-determination squarely lies with them. They have to appreciate that every patient is worthy of respect irrespective of their race, ethnicity, socio-cultural background, or sexuality (Tummala & Roberts, 2009). The healthcare providers have to be seized of the beneficence factor and use their expertise to remedy a patient's medical conditions.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Trotochaud, K. (2006). Ethical Issues and Access to Healthcare. Journal of Infusion Nursing,

29(3), 165-170.

Tummala, A. & Roberts, L.W., (2009). Ethics Conflicts in Rural Communities: Stigma and Illness. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.

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