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Ethical Issues in Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea with Exercise Independently Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 6th, 2019


Obstructive sleep apnea (OSAS) is a disease that exposes individuals to immense psychological, mental and physical disorders. The disease is increasingly becoming prevalent in most settings with health officials asserting the need for its eradication. This is would be vital in ensuring that its effects do not render most individuals redundant and unproductive economically in our societies.

It would also ensure that the growing mortality rate among adults and children due to sleep apnea related complications that stand at four persons out of ten people annually is reduced. Indeed, sleep apnea is a complication that causes closure of individual’s airway system during sleep. The blockage of the airway system hinders effective inflow of oxygen and distribution of blood in the body.

Notably, the common disease exposes individuals to breathing complications or difficulties as they sleep. This is evident since it is characterized by repetitive (hypopnea) or complete (apnoea) closure of the airway system of individuals during sleep.

The repetitive closure of the air system presents far reaching effects to victims of the disorder. The effects such as poor oxygen circulation and increased respiratory effort compromises individuals’ functional capacity in most cases. The complications also expose individuals to contraction of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and loss of weight that leads to death.

According health officials, authorities in various nations should craft viable modalities to help in curbing the rising cases of sleep apnea. The officials state that this is necessary since the rising cases may pose a great danger for economic and social development in most settings.

They affirm that there is need for the development of credible and sustainable solution to the menace whose control would help in steering economic growth. This is because its effective eradication will enable most individuals to focus all their energy in executing activities that are economically oriented.

The officials state that favorable approaches and policies should be put in place to facilitate the eradication process. In particular, they emphasize on the need for the adoption of ethical practices and medical code of conduct by various stakeholders in the health sector. This is vital in facilitating sanity in the health sector by ensuring that every stakeholder performs what is medically right for life sustainability.

This will ensure that quality, fairness and equitable provision of health services to victims that has been lacking in most settings are upheld. Indeed, eradication of sleep apnea requires the adoption of holistic strategies and collaboration of key stakeholders such as medical officials and patients under mutual or ethical guidelines.

It also requires the adoption of conventional Medicare practices and systems that ensures quality service delivery. These approaches and policy issues are significant in ensuring that sleep apnea that remains detrimental independent risk factor for hypertension is mitigated effectively.

This will help in reducing the magnitude of the impairment of quality of life that it exposes individuals especially in the current environment. It will also reduce the cognitive functionality and work performance complications that it subjects most individuals.

Consequently, the modalities are bound to ensure that the risks of causing accidents are minimal on the roads. These paper discuses key ethical issues that contribute in ensuring effective management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Significance of the study

The study will be of great significance to various individuals and medial officials since it seeks to relay basic information pertaining to obstructive sleep apnea that presents far reaching effects to individuals. It is set to equip the stakeholders with information about its causes, effects and appropriate mitigation approaches.

This is critical since mitigation of the disease that is considered as a key risk factor for hypertension that impedes individuals’ performance is essential for achieving economic growth. Notably, understanding of the key risk factors will facilitate the formulation of viable preventive and curative measures that are sustainable.

It will also enable victims of the disease to adopt essential ethical practices such as observation of justice to the body, promotion of good practices, exercising absolute control of their lives and avoiding harm at all cost.

These ethical guidelines are fundamental in ensuring that individuals operate under good health status that is appropriate for sustainable growth. Indeed, the study focuses on key legal, nutrition, ethical and social issues that stakeholders in the medical sector are under obligation to adhere to with an aim of curbing any possible health complication.

The elements provide elaborate supportive structures that hold the capacity of restoring and preventing the spread of sleep apnea among individuals.

That is it focuses on the imperativeness of ethical issues that should be executed under ethical principles in ensuring absolute management of sleep apnea. Indeed, the information will enable key stakeholders in the health sector including victims of the disease to understand the cause of the disease and viable modalities to eradicate its spread.

Obstructive sleep apnea and the ethical measures that can effectively contain its spread

As noted, sleep apnea is a common disease that causes sleep deprivation since it exposes individuals to chocking episodes during sleep. This is due to the repetitive closure of the upper airway system of individuals during sleep.

The disease causes severe effects that include deterioration of individual’s quality of life, health conditions, low cognitive capacity, increased risk of accidents and low productivity (Swansburg & Swansburg, 2002). These effects compromise individual’s stability and performance economically and socially.

Therefore, their mitigation through systematic ethical, legal and medical approaches is vital especially in the current environment where the disease is spreading at an alarming rate. The approaches should ensure that necessary preventive and curative measures are put in place to facilitate the process of eradicating the disease that is causing immense sleep related complications.

Evidently, sleep apnea is a disease that causes severe health complications that are associated with coronary artery diseases, stroke, heart failure, metabolic syndrome and type 2, diabetes (Swansburg & Swansburg, 2002). It also causes a health complication that is related to obesity that is regarded as its independent disorder.

According to statistics, these complications have been affecting approximately 4 men and 2 women who are middle-aged in every 10 persons selected in both gender. This is an acute rise in the number of victims of sleep apnea in comparison to the figures realized in previous studies.

This is evident since the rate of increase is nearly 50% in the current year. The rapid increase has made various authorities to get concerned about the rate at which the disease is spreading. Their concerns are based on the fact that the disease can lead to stagnation of various economies since it deprives individual’s ability to produce optimally (Swansburg & Swansburg, 2002).

This has made authorities in most settings to engage in high powered deliberations to ascertain amicable ways through which the disease can be eradicated. In US, emphasize is being made by key stakeholders in the health sector on the need for the adoption of ethical and legal preventive measures. The measures are cited by health officials as the most viable approaches that can effectively help in eradicating the disease.

In particular, the stakeholders cite key ethical principles that include justice, autonomy, nutrition nonmalficence and beneficence as essential measures that individuals should embrace. The ethical measures are preferred since they hold the capacity of providing long term and sustainable outpatient assistance that would help in eradicating sleep deprivation (Qiu, 2004).

Health officials cite that it is ethical prudent and everyone has a responsibility to ensure that they have enough and good rest at night. They prefer that rational individuals should sleep for at least 6 hours a day. However, prolonging this time is not ethically erroneous and can be healthy if the activities were tiresome and difficult to undertake.

This is allowed since it is possible for individuals with sleep deprivation issues to surpass a fortnight but not the second night, since the urgency of sleep can be uncontrollable. Ideally, enough sleep essential in giving your brain and body enough rest for food digestion, execution of cognitive activities and body growth (Qiu, 2004).

Scholars note that enough sleep is necessary for any normal human being and that an individual who aspires to record good performance should sleep well. Such individuals should refrain from participating or eating large quantity of food that may not facilitate their effective rest and breathing capacity.

Instead, the individuals should ensure that they sleep under safe conditions and are not exposed to any contaminated or constipating gases that may block their airway systems. Laureys & Tononi (2009) noted that it is ethically sound for individuals to plan well before they sleep, they should ensure that the room they are sleeping in is well ventilated and they should sleep in a good position.

These elements form part of the appropriate preventive measures that are presented under ethical principles that individuals may observe to curb the effects of sleep apnea. They observed that these are autonomous issues that are grounded on decision that individuals make as guided by their personal cognitions.

They are products of self governance since it is upon an individual to ensure that he sleep in a safe environment. This is because individuals have the autonomy to govern their lifestyle and make good choices that promote quality lifestyle.

It is also ethical for individuals to avoiding harming themselves by using uncertified products, consuming unbalanced diet and exposing themselves to danger as indicated in the nonmalefcence principle (Laureys & Tononi, 2009). The principle requires each and every individual to take care of their health by ensuring that they avoid over work, switching of work and overindulgence in drugs that may expose them to severe harm.

Consequently, justice is an ethical principle that must prevail to facilitate effective mitigation of sleep disorders. This is vital since justice in the health sector is a principle that promotes fair and equitable distribution of scarce medical resources.

It also facilitates equal, quality and timely delivery of health services to patients (Laureys & Tononi, 2009). That ensues that there is fairness in the medical sector and that severe stakeholder is served without discrimination.

Discussion on the ethical principles

This section gives detailed discussion on key ethical principles that holds the capacity of eradicating the spread of obstructive sleep apnea that has been a major cause of breathing complications in individuals. As noted by Reilly & Markenson (2011) sleep related breathing disorders that are caused by obstruction sleep apnea can effectively be managed if individuals embrace ethical practices.

This is vital since clinical ethical practices provide essential guidelines on how the disorder can be managed. It is a strategy or that works best if individuals are determined to live a healthy life by averting unwarranted complacency in adhering to noble health ideals. This is because the principles require the development of clear-cut decisions and compromising of some activities.

The principles that hold the capacity of providing individuals with pertinent solutions as discussed in this section include autonomy, justice, beneficence and nonmaleficence. Indeed, the principles are relevant since they inculcate moral values and discipline in individuals especially sportsmen. This helps in ensuring that every activity that they get involve in is morally informed and health oriented (Reilly & Markenson, 2011).

The principles also hold the capacity of enabling individuals to know the value of life and their role in ensuring that they live a healthy lifestyle that can advance their performance levels. In particular, autonomy is a vital principle that is grounded in our cognition. The principle recognizes the imperativeness of autonomy or self governance that is a basic right in the current world.

It also recognizes the fact that individuals are free to make their own decisions pertaining to various issues that appertains to health care and nutrition. However, this autonomy or privilege should not be abused since its abuse may expose a person into serious problems. Therefore, individuals are advised to make right decisions especially on issues that contribute to their wellbeing (Freeman & Freeman, 2006).

Most studies show that most individuals have been suffering from sleep related disorders due to poor management of their life. They make wrong choices in life especially with regard to nutrition, exercising, and over indulgence in unethical activities. This is coupled with increased engagement into intense work with minimal rest.

These conditions enhance their vulnerability in attracting sleep apnea disease since they sleep when they are not psychologically fit. They also sleep when their muscles are not effective hence affects blood flow. These conditions expose them to severe complication that affects intake and flow of oxygen into the body.

Consequently, the principle of autonomy focuses on the notion that victims of obstructive sleep apnea should follow the standard of substituted judgment that obligates every stakeholder in the healthy sector to be one’s keeper (Freeman & Freeman, 2006). The standard judgment means making medication decisions that patients should have made for themselves.

Studies show that this happens no more hence this explains why there is need for the adoption of the principle holistically. The studies also show that most individuals participate in work shifts, execute heavy duties, involve themselves in sporting activities for long hours and miss training sessions for muscle development.

This happens as most individuals claim, due to the increased need for resources that has left them with limited time for other activities. Even though they know that this is detrimental, they are doing little to improve their situation. This is why the principle is of great significance since it will enable various individuals to realize the collective responsibility that they have in building a healthy nation (Hogston & Marjoram, 2011).

Secondly, the principle of nonmalleficence remains a noble principle that holds the capacity of facilitating systematic eradication of the sleep disorder. The principle requires individuals to execute noble and good things or participate only in activities that foster healthy lifestyle. The principle requires everyone to take responsibility of their lives by planning their time well to ensure effective balancing of activities.

This is vital in ensuring that the body is not exposed to tiring activities that may compromise its functionality. Scholars affirm that those who do not plan their time well end up performing work shifts and work long hours with no rest violates the principle of nonmlaficienmce (Hogston & Marjoram, 2011). This has been common in most settings with the scholars asserting that individuals are not keen on managing their time well as required.

Indeed, individuals should execute activities under ethical guidelines and see the need to engage in noble practices that promote good health. They should also understand the importance of sleep and why it is highly recommended by health practitioners.

This is essential since enough sleep according to various studies presents immense benefits to individuals including sportsmen and adults who are highly vulnerable to the independent risk factors of sleep apnea

Particularly, sleep provides them with health rejuvenating incentives, which enhances their body functionality. It also facilitates body efficiency and flexibility, which is critical during training and rehearsal. The aspects gives a clear reason why individuals should observe major factors that influences ability to having enough sleep such as irregular sleep wakeup schedule and irregular physical exercises (Stamp & Low, 2007).

These are significant influential factors that contribute to sleep deficiency. Exercise is critical for effective body functioning and should be carried out on regular basis to ensure excellent results. Variably, immense shift work and deprived sleep hygiene also leads to sleep deficiency.

It is imperative for individuals to limit physical and mental disorders sufficiently including noise as these factors influences their body functionality thereby leading to severe sleep complications. Due to these elements, it can candidly be concluded that sportsmen must adopt best practices towards ensuring sufficient sleep as it has a direct influence to their performance.

It is also prudent ethically for them to adopt best procedures and activities that contribute to reduction of postural control disorders, are highlighted. They include consistent physical exercise, which enhances body flexibility and blood flow including effective oxygen distribution.

Similarly, it facilitates masculine strengthening, which ensure stability and increased ability to exemplary performance (Stamp & Low, 2007). They should take balanced diet since it also contributes to good sleep and eradication of postural complications, which is greatly a hindrance factor to sound productivity.

Thirdly, Justice principle is an ethical guideline that promotes the adoption of fair medical practices and effective treatment of patients. It refers to distributive justice that focuses on fair distribution of scarce medical resources to cater for patients who suffer from the disease. The principle requires every stakeholder to exercise decorum and professionalism when dealing with cases that requires medical attention.

It calls for the stakeholders to adopt fair practices and respond to each others need without discrimination that has been witnessed in most nations. In US, justice is recognized as an important ethical principle that holds the capacity of preventing several diseases that are affecting most people.

The principle is being adopted as a viable preventive measure to various health complications including lifestyle diseases (Cowan & Livingston, 2010). It is being executed through universal health care program that entities everyone to equal right of receiving quality and timely medication without any form of neglect.

The policy framework ensures that patients and medical officials treat each one fairly. Notably, patients are required to provide relevant information pertaining to the diseases that they suffer from in a fair manner to enable medical staff to find credible solution to them appropriately.

Patients especially sports individuals should also provide information about any possible injury that they may have voluntarily to enable medical staff to assist them effectively when they face sleep apnea complications (Jennings, Gray, Sharpe & Fleischman, 2004). Variably, medical officials are under obligation to ensure that patients are administered effectively and in a timely manner (Cowan & Livingston, 2010).

Indeed, the nursing care process should be fair and result oriented to enable patients to recuperate faster. The ethical principle also demands that human life should not be treated as a commodity by any stakeholder in the health sector. This is because human life is precious and cannot be restored once it is lost due to unjust practices or unethical dealings.

Therefore, everyone is ethically required to subject their body to just and favorable practices that limits deterioration of body functionality. It is also important to ensure that individuals cognitive ability is effective enough to enable one execute various functions.

These elements are significant in curbing sleep apnea disorders since the disease is majorly caused when individuals subject themselves to unfair and unjust practices that compromise human body functionality.

Beneficence is an ethical principle that requires individuals to engage in activities that holds the capacity to promote their wellbeing. The principle is based on two fundamental elements that include self discipline and adherence to expatriate advice on issues pertaining to health care that aims at promoting lifestyle that is deficient of diseases (Buchner, Borgel & Sanner, 2012).

In particular, self discipline entails making good choices in life that are capable of promoting good lifestyle. This is essential in eradicating most diseases since inferior choices on issues such as nutrition has been cited as key causes of many diseases including sleep apnea that leads to sleep deprivation.

Various empirical studies show that various individuals especially sportspeople, office workers and non formal service providers are suffering from the effects of sleep apnea due to poor balancing of their daily activities.

They expose their muscles to straining activities that deprive them the opportunity of having enough and god rest at night. This exposes them to sleep deprivation disorders that deprives them the ability to record exemplary performance.

Clearly, an individual cannot be effective with poor health standard since productivity is dependent on health capacity. In addition the narrators emphasized on development of clear plan of activities including sleep schedule to ensure adoption of well articulated practices which are result oriented.

As indicated, achievement of high activity switching frequency is dependent on an individual’s ability to strategically discover his potential and develop strong execution techniques. Buchner, Borgel & Sanner (2012) noted that to reduce human error towards switching to less viable activities is also dependent on one’s soundness, which facilitates accurate decision making.

Performance oriented decisions are normally developed under sober mind condition with strong mental stability. Consequently, strong psychological capacity is also essential as it contributes to development of quality decisions towards identification of alternative activities, which are lucrative.


Indeed, effective mitigation of the disease requires proper medication, adherence to set ethical operating standards, consumption of balanced diet, adoption of best medical practices and observation of high standards of hygiene. It also requires proper understanding of what is needed from every partner in the medical sector and the role of individuals in ensuring a healthy lifestyle.

Indeed, authorities should perform effective and systematic sensitization programs to help in sensitizing the public about the disease, its causes, symptoms, treatment care and viable preventive measures. This would help in eradicating the spread of the complication that the disorder causes since individuals would be able to take prompt precautionary measures.

The ethical practices should be executed under ethical principles that include justice, autonomy, nonmalficence and beneficence. This is essential since the principles provide stakeholders with pertinent incentives that facilitate fairness, quality and timely service delivery.

The principles ensure that justice is observed in the medical sector by facilitating equitable distribution and provision of medical resources. They ensure that there is autonomy in how one manages his health affairs. It also bestows responsibility on individuals to be their brother’s keeper. That is to advice any person who is in need to seek help if necessary.


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Jennings, B., Gray, H., Sharpe, V. & Fleischman, A. (2004). The Ethics of Hospital Trustees. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.

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