Legality refers to the acceptability of an individual’s behavior and actions or issues. As such, laws are essential in determining the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. An action, behavior or an issue that is not within the confines of the laws are undesirable and in most cases punishable (Von Kalinowski, Sullivan, McGuirl, Folsom, & Fine, 2015).
Employees and medical entities working within the health services organization have legal responsibilities like any other worker and body in other fields. The responsibilities provide a legally binding commitment to both the employees and medical entities, as they have to work in agreement with these laws. Failure to do so exposes them to lawsuits whose consequences are too severe. A case in point of a legal responsibility of the employee is the provision of safe and quality health care services at all times. On the other hand, the medical entities have the legal requirement of ensuring that the employees hired have the required competency for providing care. Also, the medical facilities have the mandate of providing a safe working environment for the employees (Furrow, Greaney, Johnson, Jost, & Schwartz, 2014).
Real life examples of the legal responsibilities of the employees and the medical entities are also worth noting. Such is the case given that they will help show the applicability and the essence of the legal responsibilities in the health care sector. A typical real life example of such legal requirements is the keeping patients’ data in the electronic medical records. Another case in point is the medical institutions conducting an interview of all possible new recruits before hiring them to the job. Such an action is a legal requirement of determining the competency level, which is a basic requirement for checking suitability to a job.
Beauchamp and Childress, (2012) is of the opinion that ethics refers to the standards or principles that govern the behavior of the human beings in compromising situations. Such circumstances require critical thinking before arriving at decisions, which at times are a matter of life and death. A quick thinking will only lead to inappropriate decisions that often costly. Ethics is everyone’s responsibility given that at one point in time anyone will find himself or herself in compromising situations.
Various sources are responsible for the ethical standards used to govern people’s behaviors and are worth mention. A case in point is the utilitarian viewpoint, which put emphasis on assessing the benefits and disadvantages of action. Secondly, the rights approach is another source of ethical standards. In this way of thinking, an ethical person is one who has a moral obligation of doing what is right. Preservation of human dignity is of the essence in the rights approach. Other common sources include the virtue ethics approach where the emphasis is on personal virtues such as fidelity and honesty, fairness approach and common good approach.
Application of ethical standards in the health care sector occurs in various ways. For instance, the medical professional applies ethics whenever he chooses to disclose information about a teenage girl to parents after weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the disclosure. Such a decision is hard in a state like California where the teenager is the sole determinant of who can access his/her information (Greenwood, 2017). Another instance of the application of ethics is manifest in a situation where a decision of kidney transplant from a twin sibling to the other sibling of a small age is the only option available for saving the life. Such a case poses an ethical dilemma since organ transplantation is illegal yet it can help save a life. Evidently, these instances depict the application of ethics in the medical field.
Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2012). Principles of biomedical ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Furrow, B., Greaney, T., Johnson, S., Jost, T., & Schwartz, R. (2014).Health law.West Academic.
Greenwood, B. (2017). Legal & Ethical Issues that Health Care Professionals Face. Work.chron.com. Retrieved 12 January 2017, from http://work.chron.com/legal-ethical-issues-health-care-professionals-face-5648.html
Von Kalinowski, J. O., Sullivan, P., McGuirl, M., Folsom, R., & Fine, F. (2015). Determining Legality and Defenses (Vol. 2). Antitrust Laws and Trade Regulation, Second Edition.