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What Is The Purpose Of Formalized Codes Of Ethics In The Health Care Professions?

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Anshul Benjwal
(@anshul)
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Health care professionals can benefit from incorporating formalized codes of ethics in their practice. These codes are meant to be used as a guide for health care providers in the profession when dealing with difficult ethical decisions. These codes are not always followed, but they are there to provide guidance in sticky situations that arise when providing healthcare.

 

Codes of ethics will generally state the rights and responsibilities of all members of the health care team, as well as what is expected of patients. They will also cover privacy issues, confidentiality, and how to report situations that violate any policies. Codes can include different aspects depending on who they are written for. For example, nursing codes tend to place more emphasis on the nurse-patient relationship than do other types of codes because that is an integral part of their job. Codes can vary between countries based on cultural differences as well as legal guidelines. Professionals should become familiar with these standards prior to practicing in order to maintain a high standard of service for all patients.

 

The main aspect that I would like to point out specifically is about maintaining confidentiality. There are ethical guidelines that state how much information can be reported, and when it is necessary to report the information. Assessment of potential harm to self or someone else must take place before any action should be taken. However, there are instances where reporting certain information may be mandatory by law even if it means breaking confidentially with the patient. This would include things like child abuse, elder abuse, sexual assault, etc. Another important aspect that I feel codes of ethics cover is about power imbalances between members of the health care team versus the patient. Doctor / Patient relationships should always remain professional even in times of strained relations because sometimes patients don't have a voice to fight back against their doctor/nurse practitioner etc., but this doesn't mean that certain actions can't be taken when in these types of situation. I think it is important for all health care professionals to follow these guidelines in order to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.

 

Codes of ethics are valuable in healthcare professions because they serve as a guideline for how to behave ethically, professionally, and honestly while providing patient care. These codes act as an ethical framework that outlines what is expected of members of the healthcare team. They also outline the rights and responsibilities possessed by both patients and providers, which creates equal footing between parties involved with each other. Codes of ethics give clear guidance about how to behave when provided with difficult decisions or situations; they allow members of the healthcare team to make sound judgments instead of having to resort to their own personal values. Codes of ethics are created by accreditation bodies, regulatory agencies, professional associations, and governing bodies in order to establish a standard for all members of healthcare teams. It is essential that healthcare professionals become familiar with these standards so they are able to provide the best care possible for patients.

 
Posted : 19/10/2021 12:32 pm