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Ethics - Health Care and Social Responsibility

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Code of Ethics

University of Phoenix

HCS/435 Ethics- Health Care and Social Responsibility

Gianna Mitchell, Instructor

Code of Ethics Paper

In the following code of ethics paper, the author, Valerye Rogers, will select a Code of Ethics sample document for a health care specialty. Identified ethical principles will be discussed. Grievance procedures and clarity of goals will be analyzed in this paper. Though written corporate codes of ethics have been touted as a panacea for the embarrassments and uncertainties of the past two decades, the absence of clear evaluation procedures severely compromises their usefulness. The author's opinion as to the feasibility of enforcing part of the code or the entire code will be analyzed. In conclusion, recommendations for strengthening potential weak areas of the codes as written as to the feasibility of enforcing part of the code or the entire code will be discussed.

A cultural study comparing development processes and compliance outcomes in large health care facilities shows that the health care facility in the industry has encountered much success with codes of ethics programs. Companies that distribute copies of their code of ethics seldom ensure the process is completed or that employees understand the purpose of the document, and staff responsible for the code give it a low priority relative to their overall responsibilities. Contrary to expectations, health care facilities are no more likely to develop or implement codes of ethics effectively than other companies (Gunn, 2006). More extensive research is needed in order to generate the data necessary for the development of realistic standards for the evaluation of codes of ethics. Physicians may invite industry representatives into the clinical setting when doing so is expected to improve the safety and effectiveness of patient care. In such cases, physicians bear the responsibility of ensuring adherence to established standards of ethical conduct. Adequate measures, therefore, must be taken to protect patients' safety, autonomy, and privacy (Hoffman, 2006).

The code of ethics document the author has chosen to use is the International Chiropractor's Association (ICA) of Indiana code of ethics document. This code of professional conduct, developed by the ICA, was officially adopted by its Board of Directors in 1985. The documents of professional ethics are based upon fundamental principles of moral and professional behavior and recommended for all doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic assistants. In the ICA code of ethics document there are ethical principles that the chiropractors and chiropractor's assistants use (Fiorelli, 2006).

Principle one is availability and accessibility. The doctor of chiropractic should be available and be accessible to patients in need of the patient's professional services. The chiropractic should, to the best of their ability and immediate circumstantial limitations, render all possible assistance to any patients in emergency health care situations. Except in emergency situations, a chiropractor has the right to accept or reject a particular patient. Principle two is confidentiality (Fiorelli, 2006). The chiropractor is obliged to keep the trust and confidence of the patient and the patient's family. The chiropractor should not discuss patient information with one patient about another patient. The chiropractor should not discuss any patient information with relatives or friends of the patient without the consent of the patient, preferable in writing. The chiropractor should not discuss any patient information with visitors to the office or hospital. Patient information should not, under any circumstances, be discussed with the news media without written patient consent. The chiropractor shall not discuss patient information with other employees, except in conference and/or consultation. Discussion about patients should be avoided in patient areas. A patient's privacy should be respected at times. When consulting another doctor of chiropractic or health care provider, it should be done privately and out of range of the patient's hearing. Principle three is the release of confidential patient records. The chiropractor should comply with a patient's written consent to provide copies of records to individuals the patient designates to inspect or receive all or part of said records. Further, doctors of chiropractic shall abide by general standards for patient records confidentiality and release promulgated by the American Medical Records Association (AMRA). The AMRA standards are endorsed by the International Chiropractor's Association and are a major part of the ICA code of Professional Ethics (Williams, 2006). All requests for health records or health information shall be referred to the health records department of a hospital or clinic. Release of health



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