Dynamics of Ethics
There are many times when changes to policies and procedures need to be implemented. There are many reasons for the changes to occur. Some changes are a result of process improvements. Some changes are the result of poor planning. Changes need to be implemented in order to correct the damage that had been done with the poor planning. However, most of the time, changes come from ideas that individuals have on how to make something better and more efficient. This paper is going to detail a change that is occurring within a care facility in Florida and how those changes can affect the people involved.
An adult-care facility is going to start implanting identity chips into ...view middle of the document...
, provided the best means of giving medical personnel access to a patient's medical history, since people with Alzheimer's often cannot relay that information themselves.â€ Alzheimerâ€™s patients are the most vulnerable population.
There are many opponents to the chip program. Some people protest that this is a form of branding. The chip program raises serious ethical concerns according to the opponents.
"This whole medical trial ... really raises some pretty important issues about informed consent," said Katherine Albrecht, the founder of the advocacy group Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (ABC News, 2007, p. 1). Albrecht is worried that Alzheimerâ€™s patients are being enrolled in a study that could be potentially risky without their consent.
The FDA has approved the VeriChipâ€™s product, there were some potential problems noted. Some potential problems include the following: electromagnetic interference, the chip not working correctly, and harmful bodily reactions. The FDA has not specified the likelihood of any of these risks.
One patient has been interviewed in regard to this chip implantation. He had the RFID chip implanted in his arm in 2002. He has not experienced any of the potential problems with the device. All medical devices that are approved by the FDA have potential problems and risk factors. This chip is not any different from any other medical device.
Opponents to the chip implantation see this as only a risk without any rewards. Opponents promote the medical bracelet as a way to solve the problem of Alzheimerâ€™s patients who cannot relay medical information. The bracelets contain the patientâ€™s medical conditions on the back. However, a downfall of the bracelet is that it can fall off, break off, or even be removed by the patient. The chip, since it is surgically implanted under the patientâ€™s skin, has a much more unlikely chance of being lost.
There are existing safeguards in place to protect Alzheimerâ€™s patients and others from being the subject for research studies. In the case of implanting chips into Alzheimerâ€™s patients, there is little risk to the patient and the research will benefit the patient.
Albrechtâ€™s objection of allowing families to consent to this medical procedure has been scrutinized by supporters of...