From the challenges presented by evolving technology to the rising costs of healthcare, medical professionals today face a unique array of ethical issues. Legal guidelines sometimes only extend so far, especially with new technological or medical innovations. In scenarios like this, it’s best to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest information on these issues, so that you can make the most knowledgeable decision and provide the best possible care for your patients.
Here are some of the issues that medical professionals should keep an eye on:
With the advent of the internet, artificial intelligence, and the digitalization of all industries, there’s a wealth of information at our fingertips like never before. It’s up to us to make sure that our patient’s data remains secure in the digital age and ISN’T on the list of information that’s out there for the world to see. We must take proper data security precautions to ensure that personal information remains confidential. As such, one of the greatest challenges facing the healthcare community today is modernizing our systems and processes with security in mind.
End of Life Care
One of the great ethical issues facing healthcare professionals today is the debate regarding end of life care. Our ability to prolong the lives of terminally ill people is ever-increasing, but when do we draw the line? Tangentially, if a patient that is terminally ill wishes to end their own life through assisted suicide, is this conscionable? Physician Assisted Suicide (PAD) is legal in two states, California and Oregon, and a topic of hot debate in others.
As depression, chronic fatigue, and other symptoms of burnout plague medical professionals of all kinds, it’s time we took a good long look at what’s causing this widespread issue. The physician shortage only one aspect of a widespread and systemic problem that will only get worse if left unresolved. As healthcare professionals, it is our responsibility to care for ourselves so that we can provide care for others. Medical contracting can provide an excellent solution to burnout for many individuals—but it may be time to consider what caused the issue in the first place.
Rising Costs of Healthcare
The cost of healthcare is only increasing, which means that healthcare is becoming less and less accessible for those of lower income status. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the cost of health care in the United States rose by almost $1 trillion from 1996 to 2015—and is still on the rise. Access to healthcare is essential—and providing care to those who lack it is a priority for many dedicated medical professionals.
The future of medical care is a complex and ever-changing landscape, and dedicated physicians and medical professionals worldwide will have a say in determining what this future may hold for physicians and patients alike.
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