U05a1 Case Study - Informed Consent
Informed consent is still an important part of health care. It is believed that informed consent helps foster open communication between medical professionals and patients, in addition to contributing to patient autonomy (Cooper, 2000). The field of health care ethics determines the right and wrong of actions based on a systematic analysis of the values and conflicts involved in the health system. Culture influences how people interpret health, illness, and treatment options. The values patients hold with respect to quality of life, death and dying, and the decision-making frameworks are used to discuss treatment options (Cooper, 2000).
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In these cases the family accepts responsibility for making all health care decisions for the family. It is viewed at cruel to burden the patient with the stress of health information (Cooper, 2000).
Language and cultural barriers can impair the extent of how much the patient truly understands of the information provided by the physician. Even with an interpreter different concepts of health and illness and issues of translation and cultural bias on part of the interpreter can compromise the extent to which disclosure is achieved (Cooper, 2000).
By not providing the same opportunity for informed consent to members of less dominant cultures may be creating a system standard of care we propose for some is different than for others (Cooper, 2000). Inflicting Western values on a patient who never would have chosen to know his or her diagnosis seems to do more harm than good
The Western defines autonomy as self-determination on the part of the individual. The Eastern view of autonomy is the family rather than the individual that has the decision making authority (Cooper, 2000). True respect for individuals dictates that patients have the same right not to receive information as a patient has a right to receive information (Cooper, 2000).
The most debated ethical dilemma facing healthcare providers when caring for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds involves full disclosure. Western healthcare states full disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis to the patient for the sake for truthfulness (Cooper, 2000). The beliefs and values of non-Western cultures believe that fatal diagnosis and poor prognosis should not be shared with the patient but rather with the family, which then the family chooses whether or not to tell the patient (Cooper, 2000).
Western cultures put importance on personal autonomy and the need to control his or her death. ...