What is the quality of treatment that you get in a hospital? All medical health workers should be respectful, fair and honest. These are the underlying principles when they interact with patients. They are not supposed to be reminded of this, it comes with the profession.
There are four basic principles of medical ethics. Each addresses a value that arises in interactions between providers and patients. The principles address the issue of fairness, honesty, and respect for fellow human beings.
Autonomy: People have the right to control what happens to their bodies. This principle simply means that an informed, competent adult patient can refuse or accept treatments, drugs, and surgeries according to their wishes. People have the right to control what happens to their bodies because they are free and rational. And these decisions must be respected by everyone, even if those decisions aren’t in the best interest of the patient.
Beneficence: All healthcare providers must strive to improve their patient’s health, to do the most good for the patient in every situation. But what is good for one patient may not be good for another, so each situation should be considered individually. And other values that might conflict with beneficence may need to be considered.
There are doctors who don’t care about the qualifications or certifications. There are those who even cross the line and prescribe drugs yet they have no qualification to treat. This is lack of honest and integrity.
In a frank interview published Sunday, February 24, in one of the local dailies, Dr Mungherera expressed dismay at the state of the Ugandan medical profession. She said that contrary to the international code of medical ethics, a large number of health workers in Uganda were not registered and hence they operate illegally! “Recently, it emerged that out of about 6,000 doctors and dentists, just over 3,000 had renewed their licences,” she said.
She added that a spot-check done in Kampala found that 75 per cent of private health workers are operating illegally. Unbelievable! As a result health workers violate many ethical practices with impunity; for example, they do not respect patients’ right to privacy and they prescribe drugs for diseases they are not qualified to treat.
When you take your loved one to the hospital, you trust that they will be well taken care of. Yu are entrusting a human to another human, unfortunately there are times when health workers go to the extreme.
A nurse has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after sexually assaulting a patient.
Paul Bugarcic, 34, a certified nursing assistant at Cherry Hills Health Care Center in Englewood, Colorado, was caught assaulting Julie Henson after her parents set up a camera to monitor their daughter’s progress.
Julie, who is brain dead, is unable to walk or speak.
There is a reason why the Hippocratic Oath exists. No your boundaries, have integrity and respect everyone. No relationships with patients and so on.
Ideals and the Hippocratic Oath have been covered in a separate article but it is worth repeating the summary of the Oath here:
‘A solemn promise:
Of solidarity with teachers and other physicians.
Of beneficence (to do good or avoid evil) and non-maleficence (from the Latin ‘primum non nocere’, or ‘do no harm’) towards patients.
Not to assist suicide or abortion.
To leave surgery to surgeons.
Not to harm, especially not to seduce patients.
To maintain confidentiality and never to gossip.’