A Violation of Ethical Principles Related To Managing Healthcare Information

Modern civilization has so much to thank the advent of technology for. Considering the great strides that have been realized in almost all spheres of the human social life, it is only fair that credit should be given where it is due. Simply put, technology has single-handedly transformed the world into what it is today; practically taking over every aspect of life in the process. Incredible as it may be, it is not even halfway apparently; far better inventions are yet to be seen. A glance at most contemporary world industry is sufficient to validate this statement. It is hard to begin determining to what extent the medical industry, for instance, has improved thanks to the various technological inventions. The twentieth century, in particular, has seen the industry scale the heights of quality clinical service in ways only technology knows better. Needless to mention is the inception of medical strategies such as evidence-based practice (EBP) and most importantly the informatics system. These two have gone a long way to improving the quality of medical service, for both the patients and the physicians.

Nevertheless, the journey towards achieving the best quality in the provision of medical services has not been devoid of challenges. As a rule, nature avails these kinds of problems so as to provide grounds for further improvement in the particular sector. To begin with, the medical industry is a quite delicate industry and as such, ought to be handled with corresponding delicacy. In as much as the sector’s main mandate is to provide remedial services and hope for individuals with health complications, it is never guaranteed that everything runs smoothly. Occasionally, situations whereby the medical procedures are compromised occur, and the patients’ health or even life is put at risk. It goes without saying that the greatest player in the entire pharmaceutical industry is the patient. If anything, all that happens in the informatics system – the computerized scientific study – is done with the view of offering better clinical services to them. Consequently, any procedure conducted within the system must be to the benefit of the patient and nothing else. It is for this reason that particular codes of ethics have been put in place to maintain the medical industry and most importantly to keep doctors conduct in check.

To a remarkable extent this codes of ethics have been the cornerstone for professional sanity within the medical industry. Commonly referred to as ethical principles, this set of guidelines has patients’ best interest and primarily safeguards them from detrimental medical procedures or decision. Furthermore, it helps physicians make better decisions regarding the particular patient’s health dilemma.  Failure to operate within the bounds of these guidelines results into their violation. Besides infringing on the patient’s rights as an individual, the caregiver knowingly tramples on their trust thereby demeaning them. At its height, this occurrence could even result in further health deterioration or even death. In their clinical study specifically on Latin America, Moreno, Alberto, Arteaga & Marissell, (2012) provides a detailed examination of the violation of ethical principles. Additionally, they discuss their influences as well as their potential solutions. Eventually, they confirm the importance of adherence to the basics of the ethical principles for the benefit of the patient. The medical industry is in large part dependent on reputation. A good reputation helps build trust in patients which in turn reflects in their willingness to seek medical attention from the otherwise reputable source.

Concealment of whole or part of the vital information from a patient regarding a particular medical procedure is a good example of a case scenario that depicts a violation of ethical principles (Moreno, Alberto, Arteaga & Marissell, 2012). A male patient facing a medical, surgical procedure reserves the right to be filled in on the implications involved in undertaking the exercise. As it goes,  patients are expected to provide their signature on the informed consent form which is a legal confirmation of their agreement to partake in the procedure with complete knowledge of the possible outcomes. Still, on the same, confidentiality on matters concerning their treatment ought to be respected by the overseeing physician. Any other excuses that seek to violate this right do not stand. Also relevant in this case scenario is the levels of the doctor’s experience as well as training (Moreno, Alberto, Arteaga & Marissell, 2012). The patient trust ought to be able to be entirely convinced that they can trust the nurse. In this regard, it should be stated if the individual is a trainee or otherwise. Similarly, the duration of surgery should also be disclosed to the patient. In case the patient is wary of a particular procedure it is advisable to provide an optional treatment method.

Principally, the patient reserves the right to make all decisions regarding their treatment without being influenced by any external factors. They can either decline or agree to engage in whichever treatment at will (Moreno, Alberto, Arteaga & Marissell, 2012). As a rule, every nurse is expected to respect his or her patients wish even if they do not find it logical. In the above case scenario, the patient autonomy is under threat since he is indirectly coerced into partaking in the medical procedure through the concealment of information. Moreover, he is completely oblivious of the implication of the treatment whether right or wrong. As a result, justice is not served to the patient since they do not comprehend the gravity of their predicament (Moreno, Alberto, Arteaga & Marissell, 2012). Going forward, it is evident that the decision was made by the physician on behalf of the patient. Here the ethical principle of non-maleficence is violated without stopping to consider if the patient holds a similar opinion. Franklin (2011) proposes a shift to technology to help in solving the problem of informed consent. A set of communicative computer programs is employed in place of the traditional consent form. Alternatively, the consent form could be presented to the patient or his representative orally. Both options prove to be more efficient when compared to the initial procedure seeing that in both cases more information is divulged to the patient.

As stated in the beginning, technology is here to stay. All indications show that the future of the medical industry destined to be even brighter as technology keeps unveiling one modern trend after another. Personally, I envision a more ultra-modern industry. One that is way efficient in its endeavor to provide quality health care to all patients regardless of their social inadequacy. By far, the technological race in this decade has been both oppressive and exhilarating. Oppressive in the sense that there is the constant need for one to adjust to the constant improvements on the technological front and exhilarating in the manner in which quality of service delivery is becoming better by the day. One of the latest technological trends in the oncological practice is the use of web-enabled mobile devices to monitor the health status of cancer patients (Clauser, Wagner, Bowles, Tuzzio & Greene, 2011).

According to Clauser, Wagner, Bowles, Tuzzio and Greene,(2011) both family and patient usually cite challenges such as insufficient information, inept care, as well as inadequate psychosocial help. Personally, I think this is a significant step towards ensuring that cancer patients receive both timely and quality care thereby creating a conducive environment for health improvement. The devices are designed to secure patient information then relay it to the overseeing physician who in turn attends to the report (Landman, Emani, Carlile, Rosenthal, Guelich, Semakov, Pallin & Poon, 2015). This technological device will without any doubt provides the much-needed response to the patient monitoring dilemma considering the present preconditions. The link below provides a short video that illustrates the use of mobile devices in the treatment of cancerous infections in oncology:


I believe that this web-based device is only the beginning of many technological tools put in place to help improve the treatment of cancer yet to come. Being an ardent technology enthusiast myself, I do not intend to take the back seat in the struggle to better the entire practice of oncology.  I look forward to taking part in the professional study aimed at providing further improvement to the existing strategies. For me, the fight against cancer has yet to begin. I can hardly wait to put my hard-acquired knowledge to good use.

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