Advocating for New Treatments and Technologies in Healthcare

Introduction

In healthcare, bioethics is referred to the discipline that deals with ethical implication of biological research and applications in medicine. It includes specification of the principles that governs and guide the nurses in determining the approach to be established in care to make enhanced care decision and delivering quality care with satisfaction to the patients. In this essay, the bioethical principles and the application of ethical theories are to be considered in arguing whether it is ethical responsibility of healthcare professionals to always advocate for introducing new treatment and technologies in healthcare.

Body

In healthcare, the four key bioethical principles are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice (Afonso, Veludo & Sousa, 2019). Autonomy is the ethical principle of ensuring authority of the patients to make decision and have freedom to act in accordance with their knowledge and skill without interference from the healthcare provider to influence their decision (Oshodi et al., 2019). According to NMC Code of Conduct, the nurses are to ensure autonomy of care for the patients (NMC, 2018). Thus, the healthcare professionals are to act with advocacy for introducing new treatment and technologies in healthcare to the patients as it supports to promote and establish patient’s autonomy. This is because advocacy by healthcare professionals regarding new care and technology leads them to effectively educate patients regarding the way of delivery of the new treatment, way it could improve their health, side-effects related with the new treatment and technology and others. It makes the patients gather adequate knowledge and critically analyse the facts to understand the concept of the new treatment to autonomously decide if they are going to accept the treatment or ask for alternative care (Nibbelink & Brewer, 2018).

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The study by argued Vitale et al., (2019) that lack of advocacy by the health professionals leads the patients remain unaware and uneducated about the availability of new treatment and way the new treatment could positively influence their current chronic or acute condition. It leads the patients to show hindered autonomy in deciding regarding their care and compromises their well-being due to less quality or wrong choice of care demands been placed. Thus, to support autonomy of the patients, it is ethical duty of healthcare professionals to show effective advocacy in introducing new treatment and technologies in healthcare for patients. This is because it helps the patients and their families in healthcare to develop a meaningful voice to express their need of care with autonomy. The health professional being directly involved in interacting with the patients understand the aspect of care plan in which they feel frustrated and confused. In this context, advocacy for introducing new treatment and technology in healthcare would help the health professionals understand to whom the care is to be introduced for their beneficial health consequences and improving greater care satisfaction that are part of beneficence (Drevenhorn, 2018).

In healthcare, beneficence is the ethical principle of showing kindness and charity towards the patients to ensure beneficial health condition of the service users (Asmaningrum & Tsai, 2018). The health professionals by acting with advocacy for introducing new treatment and technologies in healthcare helps to establish beneficence for the patient. This is because advocacy leads the professionals to initially gather and analyse evidence regarding the new care to assess their level of efficiency in resolving and managing the illness for which it is developed. It in turn leads the professionals to share the information with the patients to educate them about the benefits of the care and way it could improve their conditions which is beneficial for their health (Coghlan, 2018). As argued by Peisah et al., (2020), lack of advocacy by the health professionals regarding new treatment compromises the protection and safety rights of the patients which hindered establishment of beneficence. This is because without advocacy regarding new treatment and technologies in healthcare, the health professionals are unable to determine as well as educate people regarding the expected harm and side-effects to be faced by the person. It leads them to compromise the safety and dignity of the patients which hindered establishment of beneficence (Coghlan, 2018).

The bioethics of non-maleficence indicates that the health professionals are obliged to avoid causing any harm to the patients and ensure their improved health outcome (Nnate, 2021). The health professionals by showing advocacy for introducing new health technologies and treatments ensures non-maleficence. This is because for advocacy regarding new treatment the health professionals double checks the impact of the treatment and technologies with the patients and nurses. It leads them to identify the probable risk present with the treatment and develop strategies to be followed to overcome the risk while delivering the new treatment to the patients. This in turn ensure minimum to no harm being caused to the patient and ensures non-maleficence (Wabnitz et al., 2020). As criticised by Haswell (2019), lack of advocacy regarding new treatment by the health professionals in healthcare leads them unable to detect the error and risk to be faced in delivering the treatment. This leads to compromise the well-being and safety of the patient and hinders establishment of non-maleficence.

The justice in healthcare translates to delivery of quality healthcare to all individuals in fair and balanced manner without showing any discrimination (Erdman, 2017). The showcasing of advocacy by health professionals for introducing new treatment in health care promotes justice in care towrads the patients. This is because advocacy leads the health professionals to determine the cost of new care and find resources for patients who are unable to afford the new treatment but require it for their enhanced well-being. Moreover, while advocating for new treatment introduction in healthcare, the health professionals also understand the way transportation assistance is to be managed for few patients so that justified delivery of the care is ensured (Terry & Bowman, 2020). As argued by Erdman (2017), lack of advocacy in new treatment introduction by health professionals leads them under to determine and connect patients to resources required by them to equally access care. Thus, advocacy of health professionals is important in introducing new treatment and technologies in healthcare.

The ethical theory of Deontology mentions that actions which are based on duty and not rewards, or consequences or happiness leads individually to effectively showcase them in a moral way and ideal to develop good will (Michalsen et al., 2020). In healthcare, health professionals have the duty of executive advocacy regarding any care for the patient so that the patients can become familiar with the care intervention and develop enhanced knowledge regarding the need of accessing it for their enhanced health (Crişan & Iacob, 2018). Thus, it is ethical responsibility of health professional to involve in advocating introduction of new treatment and technologies of care in health as it would promote them to show morality and develop good will. In contrast, the theory of Utilitarianism mentions that choice is considered to be ethical if it produces greatest good for increased number of individuals (Felzmann, 2017). The health professionals by showing advocacy during new treatment introduction in health ensures contribution of their enhanced expertise and influences communities and patient population to work together in improving health condition. It assists in executing good for wide number of individuals as greater compliance in acceptance if care is built through advocacy (Rodger & Blackshaw, 2017). Thus, as utilitarian perspective, the advocacy by health professional in introduction of new treatment and technologies in health is effective ethical responsibility.

The ethical theory based on rights mentions that rights are established the society which are to be protected and provided the highest priority. The rights are considered to be ethically valid and important to be bestowed on others when they have the ability and resource to strategically use them for greater benefit of the wider population (Yousefzadeh et al., 2017). The presence of advocacy rights among the health professionals regarding introduction of new care technology and treatments is ethically correct. This is because the health professionals are experts in understand the positive and negative effects of new treatment and technology by using their expertise. It leads them to determine which of the new treatment are beneficial to be delivered to which patient leading them ensure best support for all (Palmer et al., 2019). In contrast, Virtue Ethics mentions that practicing good habits such as generosity, honesty, advocacy and others makes a person moral and virtuous and it guides them to execute good deeds without facing ethical complexity (Humbyrd, 2019). Thus, the health professionals are to show advocacy in introducing new treatment in healthcare as it makes them overcome complexity regarding ethical dilemma and become virtuous to ensure greater good of the patient. This is because advocacy makes health professionals think of supporting the patients under any condition irrespective of their approval to ensure good health outcome of them (Groothuizen, Callwood & Gallagher, 2018).

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Conclusion

The above discussion mentions that advocacy is ethical responsibility of health professionals in introducing new treatments and technologies because it helps in fulfilling autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. This is because advocacy makes patients to educated regarding the new care to autonomously decide to accept the care as well as limit risk and error in care which ensures beneficence and non-maleficence for the patients. According to Deontological theory, advocacy in health professionals is to be promoted for introduction of new care because it is one of the duties bestowed upon them which they execute with efficiency for ensuring playing their role appropriately in care. In contrast, advocacy in health professionals is ethical responsibility while introduction of new treatment in health as Utilitarianism mentions it creates greatest good for all patients.

References

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