Law and Ethics
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Law and ethics exist in our everyday life, yet they are both quite difficult to separate in healthcare. Medical law addresses the legal rights and obligations that affect patients and protect the individual rights of healthcare employees (Fremgen, 2009). In the following paper, you will first read about why law is not considered an exact science. Then an analysis of the implications for healthcare will be discussed.
The law is a system of principles that should be used for guidance. It is a measurement of our actions that is punishible when we break the law (Fremgen, 2009). The law is defined as rules or actions prescribed by society and enforced by public authority that have a legal binding force (Fremgen, 2009). There are a number of reasons why the law is not considered an exact science. An exact science refers to standardize or systematized data (NationMaster.com). For example, in mathematics, the natural and applied sciences are considered exact as they involve predictions and measurements, and verifications are possible (Nationmaster.com).
If our actions are measured by only using the law without consideration of the ethical aspects, then it should be considered negative. There are many laws enacted by state and federal legislatures that affect healthcare professionals. The medical practice acts was established by statute in all 50 states. It defines the requirements and methods for licensure, and the meaning of the “practice of medicine”. It also defines what constitutes unprofessional conduct from state to state (Fremgen, 2009).
Legal decisions are based on a moral code of ethics, therefore unethical behavior or actions should be punishable to a certain extent. However, while an illegal act is against the law and considered unethical, some unethical actions are not considered illegal and are not liable to be punished by law (Fremgen, 2009).
In regards to the law, the implications for healthcare includes ethical issues. For example, people who tell lies, manipulates others, or cheat on a test, though its unethical, it is not illegal. Why is it that the law permit immoral actions and other types of unethical behavior without penalty? Not because the law allows certain actions means that it is ethical. In the healthcare field, law and ethics go hand in hand although they are very different.
In conclusion, as human beings we all tend to make mistakes. To avoid lawsuits, it is crucial that decisions are made ethically, and that all healthcare professionals completely understand the legal system and patients are aware of their healthcare rights. Where exact science is something thats clear-cut, specific, and can be verified, when it come to dealing with the law there is plenty room for errors. Since its easier to avoid neglegience than to defend it in a court of law, all healthcare professionals should be aware of the type of decisions they make on a daily basis.