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Ethics – Patients' Right To Self Determination

No matter how hard we want to take control of a treatment modality, a diagnostic procedure or any medical regimen for that matter; it is still the right of the patient to either refuse or accept the such. Because patients have the right for self determination, it is still up to them either to refute or accept a treatment modality. For example, no matter how serious an ailment is that surgery is heavily suggested, if the patient believes that blood transfusion is wrong and he wishes not to go for an operation; it is only right to agree with the patient after all the pros and cons has been given to him or her.

Different cultures have different health seeking behaviors and beliefs that is very much affected by the presence of different cultures. As a health care provider, it is wise to have a basic knowledge in different people 'cultural differences in order to understand them more in relation to their decisions in health care.

In medical and nursing ethics, there are a lot of dilemmas that a health care provider needs to face. For one, a health care provider has his or her own bias coming to the health care setting that it could be his opinion to agree or disagree with a patient's belief. There are times when ethics must take over in order to protect patients' rights rather than to satisfy the beliefs of the health care provider.

In history, there are events that catalyzed the advancement of the patients rights. During the second World War, the Nazis made Jews their guinea pigs as they conduct research with people without even consulting for their permission.

Today, not a single medical researcher could conduct a research without the consent of the subject. The consent that should be signed by the subject but it has to be explained to him or her without the use of medical jargons but instead in a manner understood even by a person outside the field of medicine.

There are a lot of areas to improve when it comes to medicine. But its shouldn't come in expense of the patients being used as subjects. Though everyone has to agree that research could actually yield knowledge that could revolutionize the way medicine is being practiced and can potentially provide new treatments to different diseases; ethics should still be in the mind of medical researchers as well as medical practitioners.

From the doctors to nurses; it is a conscious effort to make things better for patients in the hospital. Come to think of it, it is such an irony that we seek the betterment of the practice while stepping in the rights of patients and using them as test dummies.

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