I am a senior student in this institution graduating this spring. I have majored in psychology and minored in sociology. I come from South Korea and it has been 8 years since I travelled to undertake my studies in United States. I lived in Boston for the first 4 years before I relocated to Washington D.C where I have lived in for the past 4 years. I am attending bioethics class for the first time and I have found it an exciting process given that I have to study new materials. Since I major in psychology, I have found the bioethics class quite interesting. My hobby is to jog every morning. I would like to join a grade school in psychology upon my graduation this year.
From the PowerPoint Presentation, I was able to gather that bioethics aims at addressing complex moral issues in the following interrelated fields of study: medical research; environmental studies; health care; and technological advancement. However, this question is specifically addressing the healthcare sector. It is important for the healthcare providers to consider the religious and cultural beliefs of their patients before making any decision. For instance, in the second case example, a 17 year-old teenager refuses to undergo chemotherapy despite the fact he would die without it. In this case, the patient believes that chemo is a poison while the healthcare providers know it is the best medication for her. In this context, I would suggest that the healthcare providers should never limit their practice to cultural and religious beliefs of the patients but should only give them a consideration and then proceed with their best knowledge in case the beliefs do not provide the desired outcomes.
A patient’s cultural belief does not have to be widely accepted by many people to be respected. In case 2, Mr. Pak was able to accommodate his preference. By squatting over the bedpan he was able to go against his cultural background. Cultural beliefs are different from one place to another. I think healthcare providers should not adhere to cultural beliefs that do not contribute positively to the welfare of their patients. However, they should respect them and apply the ones that are viable. The article we studied in week 1, Anne Davis was able to realize the Americans and Japanese had different cultural beliefs making it difficult to exhibit individual autonomy.
I would like to suggest that the healthcare providers should allow encourage their patients to reflect deeply before honoring their decisions. In the story of Pat Jackson and Mr. Sanchez, where she hesitated to treat Mr. Sanchez’s asthma based on his cultural beliefs. There are also patients who are not able to make right decisions due to their medical conditions and in this case healthcare providers have to step in to make right decisions. My ethical analysis was affected by geographical location because I have considered the case studies presented in the provided learning materials and all of them provide different cultural beliefs because they are taken from different geographical locations.
The concepts and principles I have used to present the above arguments have been affected by both autonomy and paternalism. For instance, I have indicated that there are patients who are able to make their own medical decisions while others have to be guided through. Despite the two contrasting scenarios, the final decision is dependent on the ethics and morals of the healthcare sector.