There are ethical issues that are clearly defined, such as the requirements for treatment decisions when a patient has a Medical Power of Attorney or a Living Will.

There are health care ethical issues such as whether it is allowable to withhold a possible lifesaving treatment from a patient only because their insurance will not pay for it.

Health care providers make their decisions based on many determining factors, the most obvious is the insurance reimbursement regime.

If health care providers could only be concerned about treating their patients and nothing else, what a wonderful world it would be.

But doctors and other facilities, constantly worry about if they will be paid by the insurance companies.

The next important factor is whether or not the patient has been truthful with the information they have given to the health care provider.

A patient with a spouse has a next of kin when decisions have to be made.

When a patient is separated from their spouse or significant other, the next of kin can be much more difficult to determine.

This can pose a major problem in protecting all health care providers, doctors, hospitals, etc from the liability risk by allowing the person who does not have a legal right to make decisions for a patient is a necessity. These kinds of situations are very delicate.

Another important ethical concern in health care is the need to protect oneself from the very real danger of the transmission of communicable diseases by bodily fluids.

In cases where a patient’s history is not available, every health care provider has the right and the responsibility to protect themselves from viruses and bacteria that may be present in the body fluids of patients to which they are exposed while they take care of these patients.

One last important health care ethical issues, especially in this day in age, is the protection of private, personally identifying information.

Patient records are more closely guarded nowadays and many hospitals now rely on records kept entirely on computers.

There are ethical issues in almost every field, but health care has a special place in the system.

People are trusted with making those who are sick feel better, helping those who are injured able to return to their prior lives and finally, for those people who have some type of chronic condition to offer help to those who love them and be more able to cope with the demands of living with those conditions.

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