Patient Autonomy and Access to Care
Title: Patient Autonomy
Thesis: Taking into consideration the fact that the abuse of a child involved benevolent intentions, initiating a conversation with the mother and the child who applied to professionals in the sphere and doing independent research will be more beneficial for the family than applying to Child Protection Services, which may cause additional harm.
A. Summary. The situation mentioned in this case involves a relationship between a patient and general practitioner who needs to decide on the behavior towards the underage child undergoing abuse as a part of an alternative medicine ritual. The rituals to which a child was subjected affected his body condition. Thus, the general practitioner faced the choice whether to refer to legal institutions.
B. Thesis. Taking into consideration the fact that the abuse of a child involved benevolent intentions, initiating a conversation with the mother and the child who applied to professionals in the sphere and doing independent research will be more beneficial for the family than applying to Child Protection Services, which may cause additional harm.
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II. Identifying the problem represented in the particular case:
A. The problem involves either applying to the legal institution to complain about domestic violence which a child underwent or considering the use of non-conventional medicine as a part of some religious ritual or taking care of a child.
B. The available facts. The therapy, which was performed upon a boy, included rubbing a skin with a coin and oil or gel, which was supposed to have a positive effect on healing of the child. Such a method does not belong to the conventional medicine and requires further examination. It is essential to get to know whether the procedure was performed in a proper way using the sterile materials. What is more, the procedure is quite painful although it is considered to be useful (Standford Medicine, 2018). Thus, there is also a problem of abuse involved in the case. Moreover, it is not indicated whether the aforementioned ritual was a part of the family’s religion. In such a case, it would be more difficult for a general practitioner to change the mind of the mother concerning the procedure or bring her to justice.
III. The possible solutions may be considered:
A. The Utilitarian Approach. According to this approach, the general practitioner should not apply to the Child Protective Services as the mother of the boy may be plead guilty; in such case, the harm would be caused to both mother and the son. In fact, she may be arrested and a child will be left alone. Thus, the solution may be to try talking with the mother to stop performing such a procedure over the boy. The conversation would require a profound preparation of the general practitioner to explain the harm of a procedure and that there are a lot of conventional ways how to treat a child without causing him physical pain.
B. The Rights Approach. On the other hand, the procedure is against the basic human rights as it causes a lot of pain to the boy. Thus, according to this approach, the general practitioner should stop the procedure by applying to the legal institution. In such a case, the boy would be protected. However, that may be considered as a violation of other culture’s representation. The matter is that nowadays there is a tendency to support any alternative ways of medicine if they are connected with national identity or religion (McLean, Graham, 2003). Thus, such radical method may appear to be useless.
C. The Fairness Approach. There is also an option to refer to the expert in the matter as far as the case is not pure abuse against the child. It will be a rational decision to find a professional in the law sphere who knows all the specifics of such cases. Also, the doctor may refer to the specialist in the performed procedure and search for the information whether it is legal to apply such method of treatment to a child. Besides, the independent research may be done. What is more, as far as the child is the only person who got harmed due to the situation, it may be useful for the psychologist to have a conversation with him to know the scale of harm he might have obtained as well as his opinion concerning the situation.
D. The Common Good Approach. The general practitioner should concentrate on the effect his decision will have on the community. On the one hand, if the doctor decides not to apply to Child Protection Services, that may partially mean he or she supports such treatment towards children. On the contrary, if the parent is plead guilty, it will mean that the child has been saved from domestic violence. Also, such decision will reduce the amount of autonomy behavior among patients in future. However, the fate of the boy would be unknown as his mother may have problems with law. What is more, such decision not necessarily will be useful for a community as it will demonstrate other people that doctors do not pay attention to the religious beliefs and do not let patience take part in the process of treatment.
E. Virtual approach. As a professional, the general practitioner should care for his patient. As long as such procedure causes harm to the boy, it should be stopped. At the same time, it is better to inform mother about the effect of the procedure and persuade her not to perform such actions on her son. In order not to offend the community, it is better not to apply to the Child Protective Services.
IV. Conclusions. Taking into consideration the aforementioned information, the most suitable approach to this problem is the Fairness Approach as it presupposes the equal treatment towards each side of the conflict. I believe that applying to the legal institutions immediately will not resolve the problem as it may also cause additional harm to the family. On the other hand, referring to the professionals and independent research as well as having a discussion with a child and his mother will be more beneficial.
Title: Access to Care
Thesis: The lack of access to medical care requires more extended steps particularly introducing changes on the state level, which will give the opportunity to resolve the problem in a long run.
A. Summary. The problem involves a family who has a child suffering from asthma and who have faced the financial problems connected with insurance. The family cannot afford neither an insurance nor the treatment. Also, there is no law to support them in such a condition as their earnings are higher than the set sum of money required to get the reduction of payment.
B. Thesis. Such a crucial issue as healthcare problem needs to be resolved on the state level introducing some changes into the law system.
II. Identifying the problem represented in the particular case:
A. The problem is connected with the legal system in the country, which does not provide citizens with financial support if they receive salary, which is still not enough to cover the costs of a required treatment. The possible decision should be concentrated on the ways how to resolve the problem on the example of a particular family and eliminate such incidents in future.
B. The available facts. There is no legal background to provide the family with a financial support. Also, the family has no insurance and no money to afford a proper treatment. However, it is not stated whether an insurance is available on one of the parents’ jobs. Also, it is needed to know whether the child applied for one of the fund programs to receive the access to healthcare. It should be clarified whether a child was treated in a proper way taking into consideration the lack of money.
III. Several solutions may be considered:
A. The Utilitarian Approach. Not to cause harm to a child, the most suitable decision for parents would be to find the information whether their employers provide the insurance for their employee as some companies have such an opportunity (Leininger & Levy, 2015, p. 66). Another possibility would be to apply for financial fund support, which can cover the expenses on medical care. As statistics shows, the number of children who enrolled on such programs is constantly increasing (Leininger & Levy, 2015, p. 70). Thus, there is a chance for the family to cover expenses on their own by applying to funds, even to private ones. However, there may appear some problems due to the fact that the income of parents is not considered to be enough for any discounts.
B. The Rights Approach. Taking into consideration the fact that medical treatment is one of the basic human needs, the parents the moral right to apply to any institution to receive either the healthcare or financial support (McLean, 2011). They may refer to the Asclepiades’ Oath in case the medical staff refuses to perform their duties due to the lack of money.
C. The Fairness Approach. If to treat this family equally to any other one, the patient may receive the healthcare for the indicated price or with the help of insurance. If the family gets all the services without paying, it may be considered as unfair behavior towards other patients. What is more, in such case, all the patients would also demand from the personnel to perform their duties for free. That is why it is essential to establish the solution for the issue not only in one clinic or in case with one patient, but also on more global scale as well.
D. The Common Good Approach. Taking into consideration the fact that a lot of patience receive very little or no access to the healthcare, some changes should be introduced in the system of law to improve the situation. According to the data, the government has improved the situation concerning financial funds which support people with lower income (Leininger & Levy, 2015, p. 70). However, the more efficient solution would be to introduce the free medical consultations with doctors for those who cannot afford paying the whole sum. Also, the income, which is determined to be the measurement of the family’s ability to receive insurance without paying, should be reconsidered.
E. The Virtue Approach. Ideally, the solution for the problem would be to provide medical treatment to the child without any payments. According to Hippocratic Oath, doctors are supposed to provide clients with health care regardless of their financial condition. In order to prevent asthma attacks, several examinations may be provided by doctors to help the patient. Such a model of behavior will be approved by the society and will improve the reputation of doctors. What is more, such solution requires less efforts and additional costs; besides, it is the less time-consuming. As a result, the child will immediately receive help in his matter.
IV. Conclusion. The majority of aforementioned approaches considers the effective ways of dealing with the problem being quite similar in their essence. As far as I am concerned, the most efficient method would be to appeal to Common Good Approach and introduce some changes in the society to make financial support available to everyone. Consequently, those who cannot afford paying for their treatment will let such an opportunity. It is essential to ensure the free medical help on the state level as that is the basic need which should be satisfied. What is more, such actions will contribute to resolving the problem in the long run.