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Today the arguments and counter arguments in the medical and health sectors embattle the profession. A common squabble entails professions’ ability to provide good patient care in adherence to the medical ethics. Do standard medical ethics apply in disaster conditions? The medical profession is slowly becoming an endangered career because of various conflicting perspectives concerning enhancement of people’s health.
According to Levine’s Writing (79), doctors are highly outraged by some of the medical professionals arrests linked to negligence, since their acts are in respect for ambiguity during the disastrous situations, when the government procedures lack better options to save lives.
This paper is an analysis in support for, ‘deduction of moral obsoletes for medical professions during disastrous conditions.’ Logic ought to triumph over all the other aspects during a life and death situation.
As the population ages, the expectorations are that the demand for grow would rapidly become better, but because of some tight working rules and regulations, people are opting for other careers that support more freedom of decision-making procedures. There is anticipation that the medical field might end up suffering severe shortages unless the rule adjusts to accommodate some of the trends.
When practitioners face the task of making tragic choices, what is supposed to prevail, compassion or absolutism? Eventually, the practitioners are accountable for their deeds regardless of whether the law protects them or not. Due to the conscious aspects, their specialties and medical acts such as decision-making during the critical conditions have to engage compassion.
Currently it is observable that beyond any reasonable doubt, professional face the fear of the law and has to engage all possible rules or regulations to ensure professional safety. It is difficult to predict how long utilization of core autocratic skills takes place before breaking off to enhance use of the conscious mind especially during emergencies. Perversely, decision-making and medical procedures management was, until recently, a medical responsibility.
Now, specialists have to depend on others procedural principles or regulations during their undertakings (Ciottone, 64). In consideration of the Hurricane Katrina, at the Gulf States of Louisiana and Mississippi, the natural disaster with magnificent damages left thousands in need of medical assistance and in conditions where the government of the United States could have done so little to cover up the effects.
The analogies that support tragic choices of painless or brutal deaths that the medical professional have to face especially during disasters creates a negative public perception on physicians as a noble profession, and makes people to have an equally strong opinion that it is difficult and often unpleasant.
Is there variability on the degree of autonomy in the medical career? Considering the case study of the hurricane Katrina, despite the government’s inability to cater for the victims, the practitioners have very little real freedom. The medical freedom especially administration of drugs is very limited and therefore the professionals perform to their utmost in strangle for any independent thought or action.
There is evident fear of expensive litigation due to the existence of protocols for everything these days, and woe betides those who dare to use initiative outside the law. This is evident with the arrests of two nurses and a physician in July 2006 in a case linked to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Nurses and physicians have to make decisions and account for outcomes. This makes physicians to be essentially in charge of patient care, and the public view them as the final authority over all patient care decisions. The trend is quite different in current procedures due to the legal perspectives and therefore the many health professional remain reluctant to challenge rules or be assertive even during the disasters (Steinbrook, 2002).
Although not certified, the charges regarding physician-assisted deaths after the Hurricane Katrina disaster where the doctor and nurses were accused of injecting excess morphine to severely ill patients, or those beyond the hopes of recovery raises many questions regarding life.
Is there a justification of euthanasia during extreme conditions? According to Lavine (81), “increasing acceptance of euthanasia and assisted suicide is relatively recent in the history of medical ethics, representing a significant departure from the historical traditions that hold life as a non-negotiable value.” The law and the church proscribe assisted death even at extreme situations. The question this paper asks is, ‘can euthanasia be justifiable in unusual situations?’
The May 21, 2005 incident as illustrated by Lavine (82), where a fellow compatriot Capt Rogelio Maynulet shot an accident severely wounded soldier to relieve him pain and misery is a good example of situations where euthanasia ought to prevail. With the acts of the incident on tape, doctors were certain that nothing would have been possible considering the time, location and fatality, where the accident blew off part of the victim’s brains out of the skull.
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However, the biggest challenge regarding the allowable exceptions over prohibition of euthanasia. What are the definitions and limits of applications for allowed euthanasia? The society can easily agree with euthanasia at certain limits but equally engage resistance due to risks of getting situations out of hand (Medscape, 3).
Blame for reactions
Physicians are accountable for the health and patient’s welfare. They have a personal interaction with people in need. In cases of severe illnesses or even death, people view the professions as the main cause of errors, and therefore the full blame befalls them.
This destroys people’s confidence for the professions and stops development dead on its tracks. Some of the severe scenarios place the professionals in an impossible dilemma or situations that involve emotional and personal liabilities, some of which are too painful to bear.
Their tasks are to protect, care for and not sacrifice the entrusted patients. It might not be practical but some situations press the physicians between a rock and hard place especially on issues regarding death. The situations are comparable to Levine’s narration (85), of Adina Blady Szwajger, who used morphine to kill the severely malnourished, sick and staving infants instead of having them murdered by the Ukraine guards.
If faced with the situation of choosing the kind of death to prefer, would one pick or let the river take its course? Would you prefer your loved one to die under the chain-saw cuts or a morphine-sleep death, if circumstances involve you in their death? According to Williams (2), today the rule is hard to bend and no administered death is justifiable as gentle or merciful, but there is need to allow for occasional contingencies.
The conflicting perspectives in medical and health practices mainly arise because of lack of independence especially in decision-making for treatment and care and lack of good interrelationship with other medical practitioners. The interactions or communication between physicians can be conflictive to the point of dysfunctional.
This conflict mainly arises from competition for status and power or differences on values and beliefs. Some physicians still may harbour the notion that they must be “captain of the ship” and rules or regulations to follow regardless of the situation at hand (Steinbrook, 12).
Such individuals view a recommendation or a direct request for alteration in the plan of care as a challenge to their status and power, or a risk of the career endeavours. What do the self-conscious tell you? Do you respect the ambiguities of a situation of rules? Physicians treat disease based on what they can hear, see, and count. They view medical needs as a life experience. Therefore there is need to address certain constraint to narrow the gap of the conflicting perspective in the profession.
Ciottone, Gregory. Disaster Medicine. Maryland, MD: Elsevier Health Sciences Press. 2006. Print
Levine, Carol. Taking Sides: Biometrical Issues. (12th Ed) New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Press. 2009. Print
Medscape. Nursing Politics. 2005. Web. <https://www.medscape.com/>
Steinbrook, Ryun. Nursing in the crossfire. 30 May. 2002. Web.
William, Scott. Nursing profession ranks low in desirability despite public’s high regards for nurses. NurseWeek, 16 April. 2001. Web.