INTRODUCTION TO ETHICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES IN HEALTHCARE
As a healthcare professional, you are among a group of frontline workers. Frontline workers are the backbone of effective health systems. In fact, according to Frontline Health Workers Coalition (2018), “frontline workers play a critical role in providing local context for proven health solutions, and they connect with families and communities to the health system.” Successful policy advocacy and creation is often encouraged by frontline healthcare workers since they are the individuals who interact with the consumers (patients) the most. Your knowledge and perspective are vital to policy and lawmakers as a voice for healthcare consumers and for providing validation/opposition to laws and policy.
Recently the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced the “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The office’s stated goal is to “protect institutions and people who refuse to provide medical assistance based on religious objections.” As noted by HHS (2018), the office is intended to protect religious beliefs. As with most policies, there are opponents and proponents. In general, supporters advocate that the office will protect against religious discrimination while opponents believe the bill will allow for open discrimination against women and LGBTQ individuals.
Information about the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division can be found at the following source: https://www.hhs.gov/conscience/index.html
Conduct additional research on Conscience and Religious Freedom. For your Module 1 SLP assignment, you are to use reasoning (from a healthcare professional perspective) and ethical principles (i.e., Religious Ethics, Normative Ethics, Descriptive Ethics, Applied Ethics, etc.) to compose a 2-page letter to your local Congressman/Congresswoman either in support of or opposition to Conscience and Religious Freedom. This should not be opinion (e.g., avoid “I think” in your paper), but a supported analysis. Your letter should address the following:
- Effectiveness or ineffectiveness of Conscience and Religious Freedom to the population that you as a healthcare professional serve.
- Rationale for your support/opposition.
- Ethical principles that support your position and supporting rationale (why).
- Suggestions or recommendations.
Note: You are not graded on your support or opposition, but rather your critical thinking skills in supporting your position, and application of ethical principles. You may also think about referencing pivotal Supreme Court decisions as well (review background cases and supporting information in the Module 1 Background).
Frontline Health Workers Coalition. (2018). Who they are. Retrieved from https://www.frontlinehealthworkers.org/frontline-health-workers/who-they-are/