Writers in health care ethics repeatedly emphasize the role of the health care professional as a moral agent or a person whose actions affect self and others at a moral level. Many writers further emphasize the importance of a personal ethic or moral framework in which the health care practitioner grounds his or her practice and professional relationships. It can be stated that the purpose of the Professional Platform for Ethics and Leadership is to initiate and facilitate a well articulated foundation for leadership and ethics in practice. The major aspect of Ethics and Leadership is its ethical codes.
This is the frame work or platform that helps the personnel to build up their respective ethical standpoint and leadership qualities. It is expected from every members of the organization to show commitment towards these codes with the conduct of a professional particularly in the field of healthcare management. This is the fundamental issue for any machinery to perform properly with an ethical perception. These codes can be viewed as a formulation of personal responsibility where the most identifiable significance being the mode of commitment that an individual possesses.
In general sense the code possesses all aspects of professional situation both as a human and a proficient member of the organization. It is obvious that an organization is formed with human aspects and for an organization to become ethical it is important the human aspects are indulged into following the code. It is imperative that these codes of ethics would be subjective and open to individual interpretations but it should also be noted that in such incident these codes or phrases or word of the codes would be judged upon individual approach of humane solution. (Zimmerman, 2002, 117-8)
In this respect of Ethics and Leadership qualities of an organization it would be relevant to mention the emergence of Professional Care Organization (PCO, a newly established health care organization) may be definitely seen as a paradigm shift. This is a commercial association that provides all types of hospital and clinic care treatment to its patients, including mental health and rehabilitation services. The clientele is the general public in need of medical treatment. The organization employs 120 employees (doctors, paramedics, assistants, nurses, health-care assistants, and maintenance staff).
PCO intends to become the leading health-care services provider in its region. It also plans to alter the general conception for high medical care costs by implementing a society benefit program that will allow to significantly reduce the patients’ expenditures. PCO reflects the growing understanding that American medicine had exceeded society’s ability to pay for all of the health care that individuals could use to actually better their health. Modern American health industry goes through a difficult period, one characterized by new concerns about rising health costs.
The major concern that had directed medicine until that time was that Americans required more medical care—more than the marketplace would offer by itself. At the moment, however, worries about high expenditures are replacing concerns about expanding access. The country’s focus turns to the matter of redundant procedures, excessive rates of surgery and hospitalization, and repetition of facilities and equipment. The appearance of PCO indicates the growing appeal of scientific and rational approaches to social concerns, including health related questions.
PCO symbolizes a way to smooth the playing field and to bring arrangement and order as well as scientific reasoning to the, at times, inefficient health care system. Its decision-analytical foundation gives society a structure for posing a range of questions related to priority-establishment. It lets the general public to evaluate existing alternatives, explore hypothetical techniques, and test the strength of primary assumptions, all in an explicit, quantitative, and systematic manner.
A better approach, adopted by PCO, acknowledges that individuals make tradeoffs between health and other products and services. Consumers don’t spend all of their money to ease their symptoms or to decrease their risk of death; instead, they consume to the point at which the development justifies the expenditures. As a result, PCO believes that health should be measured by determining how much persons are willing to pay for it. Dissimilar to human capital, willingness-to-pay degrees are preference-based. The system is monetary, which permits tradeoffs with costs and non-health outcomes.
Manning states that “PCO aims to create added value for its customers by reducing the prices charged for health care services provided and by determining the needs and wants of patients in the most accurate way possible”. (Manning, 2003, 231) We have to note that many analysts have attempted to calculate the value of health by assessing what individuals are willing to pay for specific health settlement. Economists naturally measure the value of possessions by examining the prices of products and services traded in the marketplace.
However, because private markets for health benefits do not usually exist, it is complicated and often impossible to calculate the value of health by appealing to market information. Therefore analysts have turned to other techniques. Some have employed revealed preference approaches by attributing willingness to pay from analogous market prices or wages (e. g. , the readiness to accept occupational risk could be measured as the incremental wage paid to such employees).
The difficulty is that prices and wages may not be truly similar (i. e. , exclusive properties of risk and benefit connected with a job may be confounded with the scale of the risk itself). (Manning, 2003, 211) Recently, cost-effectiveness technique, adopted by PCO, has appeared as a favored analytical tool for economic evaluation in health care. The key appeal of cost-effectiveness over cost-benefit technique is that it permits analysts to measure health benefits in health rather than in monetary units.
Consensus teams have emphasized the practical and political benefits of using cost-effectiveness technique because estimating outcomes in dollars as cost-benefit approach demands, presents calculation difficulties and ethical dilemmas. (Zimmerman, 2002, 98) PCO states that organization’s success will greatly depend on the tool’s acceptance in the broader medical commune. Practicing doctors will need to be converted, or at least counterbalanced as an opposing force. This would entail a shift in their reasoning.
Physicians have to begin contemplating boundaries, whereas their previous training stresses the need to offer beneficial treatment or service without regard to the marginal expenditures. The organization’s code of ethics can be divided into four parts. In the first part there are the General Moral Imperatives that relates to more of a humane approach towards profession and life as a whole. The second part consists of Specified Professional responsibilities that deal with the codes that are directed towards the specification, nature and directives of the organization.
The third part can be enumerated as Imperatives dealing with Organizational Leadership and the fourth part is basically the Compliance with the Code. General Moral Imperatives Contribute as a human being to society and profession. An employee should not harm anybody under any circumstances. An employee should be trustworthy and honest. One must never be unfair or encourage nepotism or favors. Property rights, royalty and copyrights must be honored. Intellectual property should be given proper credits. General and corporate privacy should be honored.
Confidentiality should be maintained and honored under every circumstance. Specified Professional responsibilities Professional competence must be maintained or acquired and focus should be there to heighten it. Profession laws must be well known and respected by the employee. Acceptance should be there in accordance to review. The assigned responsibilities, agreements and contracts should b honored accordingly. Public understanding of the profession should be improved by person of knowledge. Access to information should avail only when it has been authorized. Imperatives dealing with Organizational Leadership
Access to classified documents and information should be respected. One must always look forward to enhance the efficiency. Communication resources should be acknowledged and supported. Requirements and usage should be in trained hands and any problem should be reported immediately. Helping other employees to understand the system of work under every condition by a person of knowledge is expected. Compliance with the Code It is important to uphold the code and the future of the organization and profession depends on this therefore it is important that employees would motivate others too to follow the code.
Any violation of the code would be recognized as possible termination of employment is the employee is found to misconduct grossly. (Berkowitz, 1993) From a personal stand point it can be stated that in general sense there is nothing to be said against these laid down principals and under general circumstances I personally would like to follow each and every of them barring a couple. For this I have definite reasons. The first one of these two would be the principal that states that access to classified documents and information should be respected.
This part is not always practicable as par practicable mode. This is because there are certain situations, particularly in the healthcare sector where one has to work in a fast track with little time to pare. At this situation it is undesirable to waste any time by paper work for requesting access to documents which otherwise are physically accessible. The second point is the second principal under the General Moral Imperatives where it states that an employee should not harm anybody under any circumstances.
But there would be trouble in certain conditions if not taken any action in accordance to this principal and this is particularly truer under the parameters of situations that arise in a healthcare institution. Though undesired and improbable the relatives of a deceased patient may turn volatile and accuse the institution for the death. This may turn into physical violence in no time. Under the circumstance it would be meaningless to allow this explosive behavior to continue. The general sense would say it is essential to stop this person even if it requires hurting the person.
Deontological ethics or deontology is a theory holding that decisions should be made solely or primarily by considering one’s duties and the rights of others. Deontology posits the existence of a priori moral obligations, further suggesting that people ought to live by a set of defined principles that do not change merely as a result of a change in circumstances or in other words, situational ethics. One of the most important implications of deontology is that praiseworthy goals can never justify immoral actions, in contrast to doctrines that claim the ends justify the means.
Deontology is directly in opposition to consequentially, an ethical theory in which the ends can justify the means because decisions are judged primarily in terms of their consequences. (Wright, 1994) Relativism is the ethic of no ethics. It is considered good in educational circles to make studies, especially of controversial topics, “value-free”. Whereas, Kant’s Categorical Imperative says that to behave ethically, you must act so as to be happy for your actions to be examples of general laws. Similarly, Utilitarianism represents all ethical theories where the goal is maximization of some measure of goodness.
These are outcome-oriented ethics where goodness is measured by its results. Commandments of God are ethical theories that accept some higher power as their source. It is self-evident that a major weakness of these theories is disagreement about just what it is that God has commanded. Contrary to this the children’s ethics is the ethical theory we teach our little children and hope they will grow out of universal benevolence. Darwinian Ethics is one of its kind, it tells us why we have ethical thoughts in the first place, in other words an explanatory theory.
Lastly, the ‘ideal’ of the ‘will’ or of ‘transcending good and evil’ of Rousseau and Nietzsche are two typical figures attracted to this line of thought. It is hard to discuss this topic impartially because these ideas are really not thoughts at all, but instead feelings (savage, primitiveness) disguised as thought. (Finnis, 1983, 51-53) Among all these systems of ethics the most interesting and the more logical one appears to be the ethics of Relativism. This system evokes a thought process that is not barred by any structural mappings or doctrines.
It appears to project a sense of ingenuousness that helps one to be free in terms of thought process. Quite logically, the most preferable ethical system among the most widely accepted systems is the system of Relativism. But in general sense it could be mentioned that when working with patients, families and other health care professionals, the best possible method to resolve ethical disagreement is understanding the view point of the other as because when one understands the view point of the other individual then it makes a comfortable way for the other person to allow understanding one’s view point.
Thus any problem could be solved with much less effort. In this context the ethical practice of nursing would surely come into view are the nurses are the best possible intermediate tool between the management and the patients. Thus the ethical context becomes extremely important while handling any situations because being a common factor between both the parties they are able to negotiate any conditions as a result their ethical perspective becomes the key point of making or breaking an institution.
Like the nurses, healthcare professionals are often challenged to assume leadership roles in order to improve clinical practice, advocate for patients, further or protect the interests of the profession, challenge unethical practices by colleagues or facilities, and actively work to shape meaningful health care policy. The Johnson text explores the “shadow” side of ethical leadership. However, from a personal perspective of the ethical practices and leadership behaviors it can be mentioned tat there are still ample rooms for developments in this area.
The codes of the leadership and ethical principals should be more practical and based on the actual situations of a health care institution and not remain as rigid framework or platform of doctrines. But as for PCO is concerned it can be mentioned that their model of ethical and leadership principals is the most articulately designed plan for personal and professional development with respect to ethical and leadership practice. Thus, coming back to the issue of Ethics and Leadership platform, it can be mentioned that the principal or code inspires a tangible outcome from employees by different manners and from various aspects.
Firstly, the code serves as a guideline for the general approach towards the organization. Secondly it acts as a parameter that would unable an employee to understand what exactly is to be done and what is not to be done or encouraged. Thirdly, it enumerates a homogenous guideline to all the employees across the organization and thus implication to all makes the employees feel more as a part of a large family maintained by the same laws from the top management to the lower employees. Fourthly, this code acts as a benchmark for the employees and thus enables the employee to understand the organization better.
Fifthly, and more importantly, this code is the statement that helps the company achieve its higher production rate and goals as following this code would certainly smooth the production or service infrastructure and thus efficiency would be achieved without much deliberations. This code that develops Ethics and Leadership quality is basically an instrument that related directly to the mission and values of the organization and proper implementation of this code would certainly translate into a formation of ethical organization.
The PCO’s mission statement enumerates that, “To better human life through distinction and quality in the science and art of health care and healing by using a rationale approach”. (Manning, 2003, 55) Thus the code of ethics can be found to be aligned directly with PCO as it also states and implements an humane approach to the proceedings by enabling the employers and employees to follow a better approach towards becoming a better human and a better professional thereby enhancing the end goal of the organization that is directed towards the service of the human propositions.
As for the values of the organization it could be stated that the “PCO aims to create added value for its customers by reducing the prices charged for health care services provided and by determining the needs and wants of patients in the most accurate way possible”. (Manning, 2003, 61) Thus the values of the organization are quite not any different from organization that wants to be judged as an Ethics and Leadership oriented organization especially as a health related sector.
In this manner the Ethics and Leadership attributions already imply the basic services required by the health organization and being a sensitive and responsive statement the code of ethics already provides the needed perspective that is required. This alignment makes the Ethics and Leadership qualities more obvious and induces the real values of the organization that was already implied. With the qualities in action the details proved a written documentation that should be followed, valued and honored under every circumstance.
Thus the ethical codes are perfectly aligned with PCO and the value is well placed with the healthcare proposition in terms of Ethics and Leadership statements. It could well be mentioned that the study of PCO itself was enlightening enough and could be termed as the primary influences in my own ethical development and leadership perspective when I heard about their whereabouts for the first time. The method implemented by PCO is at the same tome methodical and inspiring in the context of not only ethics but also the essence of leadership.