Ethical, Moral, and Legal Frameworks in Medicine

Introduction

Ethics in medical professionals is guided by different standards. These principles include justice, beneficence, and autonomy. The widely used conceptual framework is that of utilitarianism (Cherkowski, Walker, & Kutsyuruba, 2015). This moral law dictates that good actions are the ones that maximize happiness. The above principles will also be meaningful if only they are guided by various considerations. The first one is that actions will have an ethical meaning if they are free in nature and controlled by human thought. Something will be good (or beneficial) if people have a common agreement regarding wellbeing or fulfillment. The second one revolves around the issue of human needs. Christians, for instance, encourage people to love others unconditionally. A moral or ethical action will, therefore, be aimed at addressing their psychological, social, and physiological demands (Khalid, Eldakak, & Loke, 2017). The ultimate goal is to maximize happiness for all people in accordance with the concept of utilitarianism. This paper uses this conceptual framework to analyze an ethical dilemma encountered in my workplace. The moral, legal, and ethical implications utilized in the situation are described. My role as a moral agent for the issue and my leadership style and its impact are also discussed.

Ethical Dilemma

My unit has skilled professionals and practitioners who provide quality medical services to patients suffering from different illnesses or conditions. However, there was a time when one patient was unable to receive proper medical attention. Since the facility does not offer laboratory services, some medicines were prescribed without focusing on their contra-indications. The nurses and caregivers in the facility were unable to offer timely or adequate information to this patient. To my opinion, the malpractice amounted to an ethical dilemma. The ethical issue also revealed similar problems and challenges encountered by different elderly members of the society. This underserved population should, therefore, be supported using appropriate support and care delivery models.

Ethical leadership is a model whereby individuals focus on people’s rights and demands in order to deliver desirable outcomes. Moral managerial processes are based on values such as autonomy and justice. This is done in accordance with the principles supported in a given culture or society. Legal leadership is a model whereby individuals focus on existing regulations and guidelines in an attempt to support every person’s wellbeing (Khalid et al., 2017). This analysis indicates that ethical, legal, and moral issues were involved in the above dilemma. To begin with, the failure to offer appropriate care to an elderly patient is something unethical. This is true because such patients should receive timely and efficient medical support. The moral issue is that the malpractice was against crucial values such as integrity, autonomy, and justice.

The legal perspective of this ethical dilemma is that all people are protected by the country’s law (Khalid et al., 2017). For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 supports the liberties of every citizen. Failure to offer proper medical attention to a given patient because of his or her old age is unethical. Practitioners should also act in accordance with existing codes of ethics in order to maximize their patients’ outcomes.

My Role as a Moral Agent

After examining the nature of this predicament, I decided to engage different practitioners and caregivers in the unit. I sensitized them about the importance of being servants and focusing on the unique challenges facing all patients. It was appropriate for them to act ethically and use their competencies to meet the needs of every patient irrespective of his or her age, racial background, faith, or culture. Basically, I reminded them about the effectiveness of powerful nursing philosophies and how they can be utilized in every situation. This message encouraged them to focus on the unique needs of elderly patients and support them accordingly.

The next action undertaken was to communicate with the institution’s leaders (Algahtani, 2014). I informed them about the need for a laboratory or testing equipment in the unit. The suggested initiative would minimize similar ethical problems and ensure that the medical needs of more patients (including elderly citizens) were met. From this analysis, it is evident that I played a positive role as a change agent. This is the case because I encouraged my colleagues to act ethically whenever addressing the health needs of their patients. I also reminded them about the power of an evidence-based philosophy of nursing. This approach can empower them to focus on the above conceptual framework and focus on the best practices for maximizing patients’ health outcomes (Algahtani, 2014). When this is done, more people will continue to receive timely and high-quality medical services.

Personal Leadership Style

The results obtained after completing the Keirsey Temperament Sorter has revealed that I have a servant leadership style. It has also indicated that my personality type is “guardian”. This means that I have a natural talent in monitoring and managing resources and ensuring that everything is running smoothly. I am always committed to my roles or aims. I also implement appropriate models to ensure that duties or responsibilities are completed efficiently. Ramos et al. (2016) believe that a guardian leadership style ensures that all moral and ethical aspects such as autonomy, justice, and benevolence are taken seriously.

This kind of personality promotes a favorable environment whereby law and order are maintained (Algahtani, 2014). People who have this style will support the rights of others. They make their colleagues and followers happy. They also facilitate the establishment of meaningful or harmonious relationships (Ramos et al., 2016). Since I possess these attributes, it is evident that I can facilitate meaningful changes during the targeted dilemma. I can use my competencies and skills to guide others and encourage them to focus on moral, legal, and ethical standards.

I also make sure that every person is mentored and willing to support the needs of different patients. The concept of teamwork can also be introduced in this unit to ensure that such a dilemma is not repeated (Cherkowski et al., 2015). The involvement of different leaders and decision-makers in the institution is a powerful approach that can be achieved through the use of my leadership style. This discussion, therefore, indicates that my leadership style and personality can facilitate meaningful change in the unit.

Concluding Remarks

The above ethical dilemma echoes most of the challenges experienced in different healthcare units or settings. Practitioners can act as moral agents and promote adequate processes that can ensure that similar problems are prevented. My guardian leadership style and personality can create the best environment for tackling the targeted issue and delivering high-quality care to different patients.

References

Algahtani, A. (2014). Are leadership and management different? A review. Journal of Management Policies and Practices, 2(3), 71-82. Web.

Cherkowski, S., Walker, K. D., & Kutsyuruba, B. (2015). Principals’ moral agency and ethical decision-making: Toward a transformational ethics. International Journal of Education Policy & Leadership, 10(5), 1-17.

Khalid, K., Eldakak, S. E., & Loke, S. (2017). A structural approach to ethical reasoning: The integration of moral philosophy. Academic of Strategic Management Journal, 16(1), 81-113.

Ramos, F. R., Barlem, E. L., Brito, M. J., Vargas, M. A., Schneider, D. G., & Brehmer, L. C. (2016). Conceptual framework for the study of moral distress in nurses. Texto Contexto Enferm, 25(2), e4460015. Web.