Legal And Ethical Issues Of Health Care Workers

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Health Care workers are constantly faced with legal and ethical issues every day during the course of their work. It is important that the health care workers have a clear understanding of these legal and ethical issues that they will face (1). In the case study analysed key legal and ethical issues arise during the initial decision-making of the incident, when the second ambulance crew arrived, throughout the treatment and during the transfer of patient to the hospital. The ethical issues in this case can be described as what the paramedic believes is the right thing to do for the patient and the legal issues control what the law describes that the paramedic should do in this situation (2, 3). It is therefore important that paramedics also involves key stakeholders when commencing treatment and during treatment, especially when and end of life scenario arises such as this case. Stone et al. (1) explains how paramedics must consult family members to understand what interventions the patient wishes to receive, how far the paramedics should go in the treatment process and their legal obligations during treatment. The key concepts of ethical practice seen in this case involve determining what would be the appropriate action to take during treatment, understanding the requests of the patients’ end of life care and consultation with stakeholders. Stone et al. (1) points out that in pre-hospital care, paramedics face difficult choices when deciding on whether to resuscitate or not. At this stage a decision must be made on the right treatment to provide whilst taking into consideration patient autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence (2). The paramedics on scene are required to provide suitable treatment whilst respecting the patient... ... middle of paper ... ... Paramedics face ethical decisions that they will be required to interpret themselves and act in a way that they believe is right. Obstacles arise such as families’ wishes for the patients’ outcome, communicating with the key stakeholders is imperative in making informed and good health practice decision. It could be argued that the paramedics in the case study acted in the best interest of the patient as there was no formal directive and they did not have enough information regarding the patients’ wishes in relation to the current situation. More consultation with the key stakeholders may have provided a better approach in reducing the stress and understanding of why the resuscitation was happening. Overall, ethically it could be argued that commencing resuscitation and terminating once appropriate information was available is the right thing to do for the patient.

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