Free «Law and Ethics for the Health Care Professions» Essay Sample

The impact of malpractice lawsuits and the cost of medical malpractice insurance on health care system have been areas, which have elicited much debate in the health policy circles. Despite this, there are insufficient data combined with considerable disagreement on the effects of litigation on health care cost and quality of care. The paper discusses the importance of law and ethics principle providing rationale and context for including this domain in the development of competencies (Whit beck, 1998).

At the heart of the issue, is ways of improving patient safety, as well as ways of making liability coverage more affordable for health providers. Further, it ensures that there is a just system for compensating injured patients following negligence or malpractice. Scaffolding, in educational terms, is any supporting framework used to sustain and organize inquiry or investigation. The use of this term is a mean of propelling health care professionals along the path of an issue, question or problem. When it is used as a supporting framework, scaffolding can be crucial in providing clear direction and clarifying legal approach, which health professional are expected to observe while providing care (Masters, 2005). In a similar way, ethical and legal standards are the supporting framework, which guide the practice of health care professionals. In schools, candidates study ethical and legal basis of their profession.

In this foundational domain, issues addressed are relatively straightforward and absolutely central to efficacy of medical professionals. The professional should be ready to practice in ways, which meet all appropriate legal standards in order to facilitate quality service. Understanding basic law is for the purposes of ensuring quality service provision and protecting the right of each party. These laws ensure that these professionals engage in due process guidelines, in all decision affecting patients. They are expected to maintaining acceptable ethical and professional standards in consultation, assessment and general professional practice in fulfillment of all legal requirements. In addition, these include those in response to judicial and legislative decisions.

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Medical curriculum are designed to cover legal, professional and ethical standards as one of the domains, which includes federal laws and regulations, where they play a role in providing guidance that governs decision making throughout their professional practice. Principles of professional ethics provide guidance, which specifically address practice of medicine. Before joining the profession, each member ascribes to these guidelines. Such code of conduct has been developed from diverse areas whose settings include private hospitals, clinics and hospital. A medical professional with wide knowledge base in legal and ethical standards and principle is likely to anticipate, as well as prevent, ethical problems from arising (Masters, 2005). In addition, such professionals are more likely to make legally and ethically sound decisions when faced with a challenging situation. Basic knowledge regarding legal matters focus on providing protection to the medical professionals as well as ensuring that there is provision of quality service.

Ethical and legal principles ensure that medical professionals engage only in practices, which they are qualified by virtue of training. For the purposes of updating their skills, and remaining up-to-date in their profession, they are encouraged to engage in continuous [professional development. Further, they refrain from any practice, which professional effectiveness might be interfered by their personal problem. The responsibility of being knowledgeable, as far as guiding principles are concerned, rests on them; ignorance of the legal and ethical codes is not an excuse. Most medical professionals have internally enforced code of practice requiring member of this profession to follow for the purposes of preventing exploitation of clients. In addition, they are mean to preserve the integrity of the profession, which is not only a benefit to the clients, but also to the profession.

Disciplinary codes ensure the profession defines a standard of code and allow individual practitioners to meet these standards, through disciplinary actions in case there is a failure to adhere to these principles. Because of these principles, professional will be allowed to act with a conscience during practice. They should realize that they cannot be undermined commercially by other professionals who have fewer ethical and legal qualms. This understanding is crucial in maintaining public trust on the profession by encouraging continuous service delivery. In instances where professional bodies regulate their own legal and ethical principles, there are opportunities for such entities to be self-serving and might fail to follow ethical and legal codes when dealing with renegade members (Hall, 2005). This is because, in a medicine area of knowledge, they have a complete monopoly. For instance, English courts, on matters regarding practice that lay outside the law and legislation, have been differing to the professional consensus.

Medical professionals who are knowledgeable about legal and ethical principles use them to guide practice, as well as to engage in sound professional practice. They actively engage in the development of their profession to upgrade their skills to become more knowledgeable for the purposes of becoming more effective in service delivery. Basic knowledge in law, professional ethics, as well as professional standards, is critical in regulating and guiding practice. As either experienced or novice medical professional, it is important to be aware of how contemporary ethical and legal guidelines from the basis for the practice (Griffith & Tengnah, 2008). These are applicable to multiple roles played by professionals in their effort to provide care, and respond to myriads of problems relating to best practice, which impacts on patients.


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