Medical Ethics and Values in Workplace

Ethics in Your Work Place

Ethics refers to the code of conduct that governs the activities or behavior of professionals in a given field or employees in a given organization (Seth, 2010). The code of conduct is usually set by the organization or the regulating body in the profession.

Ethics at the workplace determines how employees relate to each other and the clients of the organization (Seth, 2010). Ethical standards act as a benchmark for measuring the performance of the organization and its employees. Thus they help in ensuring a high quality of service. All employees must understand and adhere to the set code of conduct at the workplace to improve their performance. This paper argues for the premise that the level to which employees identify with the values of the organization determines their ability to meet the set ethical standards.

Personal Values and Ethics

As a senior medical officer at Maryland hospital, I do expect to become the hospital’s manager in the next three years. My success as the hospital’s manager will depend on the values and ethical standards that I uphold. Consequently, I will inspire the hospital’s employees to achieve the set goals through the following values. First, aesthetics is a value that will help me to improve the quality of service at the hospital.

Aesthetics involves understanding the specific needs of the clients (Seth, 2010). Every client has a unique medical condition and thus a general remedy cannot be prescribed to solve their problem. Second, equality as a value will help in the distribution of services. This is in line with the ethical principle of justice (Seth, 2010). There will be no discrimination based on the socio-economic backgrounds of the clients. Third, a sense of belonging will be developed among the clients if altruism is upheld in the organization (Seth, 2010). This is because it involves showing empathy and concern for the clients.

Consequently, the clients will be more satisfied and loyal to the organization. Finally, it is important to uphold the dignity of human life as this will determine the quality of services offered. My vision is to perfect the quality of services at the hospital. Thus my mission is to inspire my colleagues to develop positive values that would enable them to be as ethical as possible.

Values of the Organization

The hospital’s vision is to provide the best medical care at the lowest possible costs. Thus its mission is to reduce costs and improve the quality of services. To realize its vision, the hospital considers the following values as a guide for behavior and service delivery. First, all staff is expected to embrace moral-self-respect (Porter, Johnson, & Warren, 2005). This involves having respect for human life and being responsible for one’s actions.

According to the rights theory, the employees must involve the clients in making decisions concerning their lives (Thompson, 2005). The consent of the client must be obtained before being treated and their decision must be respected. Second, the organization focuses on competence through professional growth (Porter, Johnson, & Warren, 2005). According to the principle of beneficence, the clients will be more satisfied if the employees continue to improve the quality of their services (Seth, 2010). The theory of deontology will thus inspire the staffs’ attitude towards their duties (Thompson, 2005).

The employees should understand that executing their duties effectively is the expectation of the management and the clients. Thus the performance of the employees has to be evaluated regularly. Finally, the organization focuses on the “wholeness of character” (Porter, Johnson, & Warren, 2005) and ensuring that all employees identify with the values of the organization. This helps in achieving the organization’s vision and observing the ethical standards.

Social Responsibility

The hospital has always aimed at improving the welfare of the community through the following programs. First, free seminars are usually organized by the hospital three times a year. Through the seminars, the community members are educated on potential causes of illnesses and how to avoid them. Second, free medical services are usually offered for one month every year. The services include both preventive and curative care. Through the program, those who cannot afford the services get the opportunity to access them for free. Finally, the hospital has a subsidy program in which children under the age of two years of access medication at half the prices.

The success of the organization’s social responsibility programs depends on the availability of financial resources. Thus the free medical program is usually limited to basic services such as testing, consultations, and immunizations. The hospital cannot afford to offer curative services. The subsidy program has also been negatively affected by financial constrain. However, the seminars have helped in improving the health of the population by encouraging behavior change (Porter, Johnson, & Warren, 2005).

Ethical Analysis and Training

While the principle of autonomy allows individuals to make decisions on their lives and actions, such decisions are sometimes subject to external considerations (Seth, 2010). For example, the decision of the nurse concerning an ethical dilemma must be guided by the principles of the profession instead of personal opinion. Consequently, the nursing code of ethics forms the benchmark for measuring the organization’s ability to observe ethical standards. All medical personnel is trained at the university level and licensed by the government to practice. Thus they can offer services of high quality as well as observing the set ethical standards.

The organization has an evaluation program in which the performance of the employees is measured by their ability to meet their job targets. The identified weaknesses are usually addressed through on-the-job training programs. Besides, the hospital sponsors such training and also encourages the use of modern technology.

Moral Philosophy and Ethical Principles

The organization’s vision to offer the best medical care at the lowest possible costs is the moral philosophy that I affirm most. My decision is informed by two reasons. First, the philosophy is guided by the principle of beneficence which encourages improvement in the quality of services (Seth, 2010). Consequently, the organization has focused on improving the competence of the employees through training and the use of modern technology. Second, most members of the community have been able to access medical services due to the reduced costs.

However, I less affirm the utilitarian principles that guide the distribution of resources in the organization. The hospital focuses on cost reduction to maximize profits. For example, patients are usually denied medical care if they cannot afford to pay for the charges. There is also the withdrawal of treatment for severely deformed infants and patients with limited chances of surviving. This decision is based on the fact that treatment for such patients has little utility (Porter, Johnson, & Warren, 2005). Thus the resources that could have been used to treat such patients are used to treat those with better chances of surviving. Finally, the evaluation of the performance of employees is base on their ability to achieve their job targets only. This does not give a true picture of the employees’ performance.

Projected Changes

As the hospital’s manager, my priority will be to change the utilitarian policies that are used to distribute resources in the hospital. Thus the principle of justice will guide the distribution of services (Seth, 2010). There will be no discrimination based on the clients’ medical condition. Besides, the clients’ right to make a decision on their lives about withholding treatments will be given priority (Thompson, 2005). The social responsibility program will focus on behavior change through seminars. This is because behavior change will lead to a reduction in cases of illness at lower costs as compared to free medical care. Finally, there will be more emphasis on staff training to improve their level of competence.

Implementation Plan

To address the problem of inadequate funds for accessing medical services, the hospital will accept collateral in cases whereby the client cannot pay cash for their treatment. This policy is in line with the principle of least harm whereby the client might lose the property used as collateral (Seth, 2010). However, the client will benefit from good health upon receiving treatment. The hospital will also purchase insurance covers to compensate it for the little utility associated with treating patients with limited chances of surviving. Finally, evaluation of staff performance will be based on the 360 degrees methodology.

The methodology focuses on evaluating the employees in all aspects. Consequently, the performance of the employees will be based on their ability to achieve job targets, feedback from clients and colleagues, and their ability to handle ethical dilemmas. The decision to adopt this approach is informed by the principle of virtue that focuses on fairness in judging others (Seth, 2010). Thus the approach will help in avoiding biases when evaluating the employees. This approach aims to boost the morale of the employees by recognizing their potentials. This translates into a high quality of service.

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is evident that the behavior or activities of employees in an organization must be guided by a set code of conduct (Thompson, 2005). The code of conduct or the ethical standards forms the basis for evaluating the operation of the organization and its staff. The quality of services depends on the organization’s ability to embrace high ethical standards. It will be easier for employees to observe the code of conduct if they internalize the values of the organization (Seth, 2010).

It is for this reason that organizations encourage their employees to identify with the values of the organization. Thus, the level to which employees identify with the values of the organization determines their ability to meet the set ethical standards.

References

Porter, T., Johnson, P., & Warren, N. (2005). Bioethical issues concerning death: death, dying and end-of-life rights. Crit Care Nurs Q, vol. 28 (1) , 85-92.

Seth, J. (2010). A study of ethical principles. Boston: Nabu Press.

Thompson, M. (2005). Ethical thoery. Boston: Trans-Atlatic Publishers.