Legal Ethics, Patients’ Rights, and HIV / AIDS

Assignment Instructions

As the head health care administrator at USA Community Hospital, you are required to review compliance reports on issues relating to the ethical conduct of the professional staff at your hospital, patient review registries, and standard procedures surrounding the ethical treatment of patients with HIV / AIDS. Intermittently, complaints surface from patients with HIV / AIDS concerned with ethical treatment and denial of services.

Write a paper in which you:

  1. Devise a plan to investigate the validity of patients’ claims of denial of services. This plan should include, but not be limited to, establishing mechanisms to address service denial claims, a human resources component, and a review of related policies and procedures.
  2. Analyze the primary way in which different staffing levels may play pivotal roles in upholding ethical conduct, including treating patients with dignity. Justify your position.
  3. Formulate a plan to relate the primary legal ramifications to the professional staff regarding ethical treatment of the hospital’s HIV / AIDS patients.
  4. Devise a community relations plan that tout’s the hospital’s unique ways of serving persons with HIV / AIDS, including a focus on de-stigmatizing those afflicted.
  5. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.

Legal Ethics, Patients’ Rights, and HIV / AIDS

General practitioners have unprecedented ethical issues with patients living with HIV and Aids (Lamorde, 2010, p. 44). Those that impinge are usually as a result of denial of service, confidentiality and consent. Practitioners have a duty to care for all patients from the hospital irrespective of their HIV and AIDs status. Such issues and other practical obstacles can only be discussed by use of different plans in the hospital setting. This can only become possible after applying different fundamental health principles.

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According to Merchant (2003) fairness and Equity in the provision of care and services to HIV and AIDs patients is paramount. All the patients need to have access to the provided medical services without hitches. The hospital has in the past convened a consultation that actively focused on equitable access to medication and ethics. There were different assumptions that were determined by the team of professionals that have never been implemented. Looking at the various reports from the hospital records most patients suffering from HIV and AIDs have not been given fair treatment which they deserve. To this effect, most of them have either relocated to other areas for similar services or have decided to die quietly. There ought to be valuable insights that can help professional practitioners and staff members to provide quality services to all the patients including those suffering from HIV and AIDs.

The hospital receives numerous cases of HIV and AIDs patients but only a few end up getting the required services. This is a clear indication that most of them are denied such health services that are usually crucial to all HIV and AIDs patients. Service denial claims appear as an abstract concept, but in real sense valid in most cases. Patients with HIV and AIDs are vulnerable; hence need to receive full attention from those who attend to them.

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People with minimal medical experience can deny such patients with their full rights because of not understanding their situation (Guberski, 2007, p. 696). Most patients often hide their involvement with their families when it comes to diagnosis. Various mechanisms that address denial instances involve the use of qualified medical practitioners only. Staff members with minimal education and experience background with issues pertaining to HIV and AIDs never fully provide satisfactory results. The hospital will also open up a different department in the hospital to combat various grievances from the patients. Such a department will work together with the human resource department to demote or punish any staff member involved in the denial of services. Such measures will lead to fairness in scaling patient’s care.

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Other measures that can be used to address issues that pertain to denial of services include mobilization of other external partners. Such partners will have a mandate of scaling up the treatment of HIV and AIDs within the hospital and the community at large. Scale-up is crucial to the overall development and restructuring various components associated with HIV and AIDs. It is an urgent ethical and human rights priority that will make changes in the organization leading to fairness and equitability. This will ensure a comprehensive response to the problems associated with denial of services from the hospital.

Issues of staffing have also led to denial of services for patients from the hospital (Wilson, 2005). The human resource department which has a mandate of employing various workers usually fail to get past information of various employees. Such a condition leads to the employment of various members who are not experienced, but with educational certificates to that effect. Minimal experience in dealing with patients with HIV and AIDs can make practitioners to provide insufficient services. Staff members who have minimal knowledge on psychology or counseling can also provide services that make patients desire services from other health facilities. Such members ought to receive crucial information before they administer health services to HIV and AIDs patients. A small training will enhance service delivery and overall patient satisfaction.

A few practitioners and staff members need also to join the ethics advisory body for purposes of scaling up HIV and AIDs services and care. The body which includes people living with the disease will give such staff members a chance to interact with people who have already accepted their situation of being HIV positive. In the event of providing various services to such members the staff members will be in a position to advice their colleagues on how to handle cases that relate to HIV and AIDs. This will reduce the level of service denial from the hospital by a high margin.

The various levels of staffing can create a perfect dialogue on access to various HIV care and treatment. Such dialogues can be in the form of media performances and various public hearings around the region.  The forums will allow many stakeholders to have their opinions heard and recorded for future use and reference. The stakeholders will also have an opportunity to provide various views that pertain to the provision of care and treatment in the hospital as a whole. Such meetings will give the hospital an opportunity to plan on setting different priorities for scale-up of HIV and AIDs cases.

The professional staff in the hospital will have a mandate of helping other stakeholders in developing various policies in connection to HIV care and treatment. Such policies ought to follow all the ethical standards and guidelines associated with patient treatment and care. The staff can also ensure that all the policy makers and the implementers make a clear balance and utility objectives with high attention on equity. Minimal or lack of policies usually lead to a greater risk when providing services to people living with HIV and AIDs. These patients will be grouped in arbitrary criteria, and this may lead some of them being disadvantaged. Those that are vulnerable, mostly in the sense of human rights violation may suffer more.

The community also needs to a have a plan to ensure that all their members receive services without being stigmatized. Through the hospital staff, those that are marginalized or the underserved members will be identified first. Such members may include migrants, gay people and lesbians. Others to be included in this category include sex works, drug users and the poor.

Such groups will need different policies that are only attached to their conduct as a whole. Outreach programs in the community level will also help such groups to overcome various obstacles to accessing health care services from the hospital. There will be a need to indicate a clear measure for accessing medical care for them without any problems. The community members through their representatives will also need to make various presentations on how they receive various medical care from the hospital and other health facilities. Such comparisons may help solve different problems that are associated with denial of services from the hospital as a whole.

Through the ethics body, the hospital will be in a position to have a fair process in establishing various set priorities. The process will have to include a public mechanism and relevant reasons for the introduction of the new principles. With this at hand they will be in a position to ensure implementation without affecting other statutory bodies offering similar services to the communities. An appeal kind of mechanism will also be vital in ensuring reconsiderations and revision of different decisions in the event of scaling up their treatment system.

With the introduction of an enforcement mechanism the hospital will have consistent criteria which will make adjustments and monitor the scale-up process. The mechanism will ensure full adherence to the principles set by the policy body.  The use of an appeals process in the system will be integrated in the system for purposes of revisions.

Various assumptions for the whole process will include various principles. Through the principle of utility, the staff members will act in their various departments and produce the desired good for all the parties involved. Such a principle can make the staff members and all the practitioners to provide services to the patients with the aim of achieving happiness for them. More treatments will therefore be conducted in the hospital and minimal cases of denial dealt with the members.

The principle of efficiency will ensure full maximization of all the resources available for purposes of achieving the laid down objectives. Maximization of the total welfare of the individuals will only become a reality as a result of the treatment provided. A particular treatment pattern will be only be used by the staff and practitioners if it meets all the standards set down by the hospital. Through this principle the population will be granted services that meet their needs and desires. Fairness will be a key assumption in the whole process as it will ensure that all the patients are treated justly. Any act of discrimination against a patient will lead to a serious violation of such a principle.

In conclusion, most patients suffering from HIV and AIDs have had to deal with stigma and denial of service due to rogue staff and non-understanding population (Trevino, 1999). Such instances often lead to low self-esteem to the affected and minimal service delivery from institutions. Such a gap can only be closed by professional members who can provide policies that safeguard the ethical rights of both groups. They should outline the moral duty of care to the patients and an informed consent to the practitioners. There will also be a need for moral character which often helps individuals understand one another from the perspective of nature and the environment. The patients on the other hand, ought to receive critical instructions that pertain their situation from the concerned practitioner at the required time. Such information should also be kept secret and only made public by the individual patient. Such incidences will lead to minimal prejudice and a highlighting of the moral debt of the profession as a whole.

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