The term medical ethics means to measure out the difference between what is right from wrong and to pertain good moral character as a professional in the medical field. In my opinion, there are a few pressing ethical issues in healthcare. As a registered dental hygienist, I have learned in school about the importance of treating a patient’s condition whether it is gingivitis or periodontal disease and providing the dental hygiene process of care. The ethical issue I find in the dental profession is the treatment planning procedure for the patient’s needs. For example, if a patient displays clinical symptoms of periodontal disease such as severe bleeding while probing, heavy tartar, and bone loss, the hygienist may only perform what the patient’s insurance will pay for. If the insurance company pays only for a basic prophylaxis and not a deep scaling and root planing, the patient is not receiving fair treatment. In this case, it can be problematic on the clinician’s part. The suitable thing to do is to provide the patient with a deep cleaning but if done so the office will not get reimbursed for the service or other legal attributes may be inflicted.
Another pressing ethical issue in healthcare are that infection control procedures have been defected in the healthcare environment. “Infection control by practitioners means providing safe, ethical, and evidence-based oral health care for patients and providers, as well as ensuring that care is delivered in the community in a culturally competent manner.” (Scarlett, M. I., & Grant, L. E.). There maybe times where hospitals and offices are busy and disinfecting may fall short due to time but without following the infection control standards, more harm is caused than good. In conclusion, any decision made by a medical or dental professional will affect a individual’s health and it is important to make the right decisions
Scarlett, M. I., ; Grant, L. E. (2015, May 01). Ethical Oral Health Care and Infection Control.
Retrieved September 3, 2018, from http://www.jdentaled.org/content/79/5suppl/S45