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2017 fall: HPPA 514 Biomedical Ethics: Reflective Paper

2017 fall: HPPA 514 Biomedical Ethics: Reflective Paper

Reflective Essay

Three ethical principles, including autonomy, beneficence and dignity, will strongly guide my ethical decision-making in the important aspects of my clinical practice: quality of health care, patient satisfaction, and quality of lives of patients and help me to fulfill my career goals.

I have chosen to become a physician assistant because it is a respected and important career focusing on human being’s health care. My career goal is to provide high quality of health care services and achieve success in the career. To choose physician assistant career and fulfill my career goal can keep me motivated and meet my needs: supporting my life, gaining respect and playing an important role in the promotion of human being’s health.

There are some aspects of my future clinical practice will be most important to me: quality of health care, patient satisfaction, and quality of lives of patients. My career goal is to provide high quality of health care. Patient satisfaction is a common indicator of the quality of health care, which affects health care outcomes and patient retention in the patient-centered health care. In the patient-centered health care, psychosocial model is used instead of classical biomedical model, in which high quality of lives of patients is our goal. So all the three aspects are important for me to fulfill my career goal: achieving success in promoting patients’ health and gaining respect.

There are three ethical principles that will play the strongest role in my ethical decision-making in clinical practice: autonomy, beneficence and dignity. Autonomy principle “means self-determination, the right to make independent decisions concerning one’s own life and well-being” (Yeo et al., p. 91). Autonomy means these decisions must be free action through effective deliberation with authenticity and moral reflection (Yeo et al., p. 93). Beneficence principle means “promoting someone else’s good or welfare” (Yeo et al., p. 103). Such benefits include prevention or removal of harm, or more directly production of good (Yeo et al., p. 103). “Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to worth or value of themselves and others” (Baillie, L, p. 8). The word can also be used to speak of the worth, stature, or value of all human beings, a certain group of human beings, or just individuals (Sulmasy, p. 938).

The autonomy and dignity principles strongly support high quality of health care, high patient satisfaction, and high quality of lives of patients. Firstly, the respect of patients’ autonomy and dignity will greatly improve their psychological health, which is key in high quality of the patient-centered health care, leading to high quality of lives of patients. Secondly, the respect of patients’ autonomy and dignity will be of great help to build up a strong mutual trust relationship between physician assistants and patients and gain their cooperation in their treatment, which will lead to biomedical benefits and high quality of health care. At last, the respect of patients’ autonomy and dignity will be leads to high patient satisfaction.

The beneficence principle also strongly supports high quality of health care, high patient satisfaction, and high quality of lives of patients. Firstly, promoting patients’ welfare means providing high quality of both psychosocial and biomedical health care. Secondly, promoting patients’ welfare will bring high patient satisfaction. At last, promoting patients’ welfare will lead to high quality of lives of patients.

These three principles are mutually supportive. The respect of patients’ autonomy and dignity will bring both psychological and biomedical health benefits, which supports beneficence principle. To apply beneficence principle and build up a strong mutual trust relationship between physician assistants and patients to benefit patients, their autonomy and dignity must be respected, which supports autonomy and dignity principles.

In conclusion, autonomy, beneficence and dignity principles will strongly guide my ethical decision-making in clinical practice, especially about quality of health care, patient satisfaction, and quality of lives of patients and help me to achieve success in my physician assistant career.

Reference:

  1. Yeo, M et al. (2010). Autonomy. In M Yeo et al. Concepts and Cases in Nursing Ethics. [3rd edition] Ontario: Broadview Press, p. 91-97.
  2. Yeo, M et al. (2010). Beneficence. In M Yeo et al. Concepts and Cases in Nursing Ethics. [3rd edition] Ontario: Broadview Press, p. 103-104.
  3. Baillie, L et al. (2008). Defending Dignity – Challenges and opportunities for nurses. London: Royal College of Nursing, p. 8.
  4. Sulmasy, DP (2013). The varieties of human dignity: a logical and conceptual analysis. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy, 16 (4), p. 937-944.

 

 

 

 

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