Ethical challenges facing health professionals

This chapter will examine the ethical problems that professionals face in their efforts to guarantee that everyone has access to community-based healthcare. Several moral quandaries arise when managing healthcare as a resource, ensuring these funds are dispersed evenly, balancing an individual's human needs and those of society, and assessing the fundamental problems of what individuals will offer to a community. Social and economic priorities are also reviewed in order to standardize expectations and ensure there is enough to go around. Micro-allocation of resources is also investigated; resources such as time and energy affect how healthcare gets distributed as hospitals have to make decisions based on how much individuals pay.

Healthcare as a Scarce Resource

Healthcare is a resource as any other available to individuals, and it also faces challenges of scarcity. The principle of quality requires medical practitioners to analyze the costs that they will incur versus the benefits of providing care to patients, while also taking into consideration the principle which prevents them from choosing between a person's life and choice of discourse. Organizations are becoming more cognizant of the increasing costs of healthcare, which may end up limiting salaries for professionals, and in turn, curtail the excellent work that a physician can perform. Also, increased lobbying for particular diseases will impact negatively by creating a demand for scarce resources such as healthcare which needs to be appropriately managed as not everyone can get the best of everything (Baillie et al., 2013).

How to Distribute Healthcare Equitably?

Distribution involves the provision of adequate and primary health care to the society while maintaining a particular standard of treatment. But it is also impossible to provide every individual's desire for proper health; this might leave some of them uncared for and sick. Fair distribution of healthcare entails awareness of the unpleasant elements of delivery which can be reduced by constant discussions between the society and individuals on what is essential and talks on varying understandings of disease. This ensures resources are appropriately apportioned, and individuals can afford to pay for treatment. It also provides alleviation of suffering, prolongation of life, and optimization of a patient's possibility for a prosperous life (Baillie et al., 2013).

Discussion of the Need for the Individual vs. Contribution to Society

The theories of distribution, including need and contribution, entail that a community has both personal basic or socially-induced needs. These requirements create constant demands for medical professionals, and with them comes the realization that differently endowed individuals have unique needs. They also entail the society to participate through contribution, in economic terms, being good citizens and more. Every society when providing health care must make sure it meets specific needs while also taking into consideration the value of the individual choice and differences. The community must even consider its particular goals and traditions to avoid selfish interests, while also promoting the interests of the many (Baillie et al., 2013).

The Impact of Managed Care on Distribution

Medical professionals have different purposes, including alleviation of suffering, providing comfort and care, or optimizing a patient's chance for a productive and happy life. These objectives can create a complicated situation for physicians because they are responsible for a patient's life. The limits and expectations are always in conflict. With regards to distribution, managed care should ensure that it balances out a patient's obligations and also those of society and family. They must consider the quality of life as seen by a patient, the costs to be incurred, the health benefits, and the value of life. There is also a growing need for the society for professionals to cooperate with things that are pertinent to a patient's decision (Baillie et al., 2013).


The society, while providing healthcare, must analyze the threshold for the level of satisfaction. The analysis would involve some resources available, but the dignity of individuals should also be ensured. The society must even make sure it stays sustainable in this whole process of need fulfillment. The scarcity of resources makes distribution a crucial method which a community should carry out with utmost diligence.



Baillie, H. M., McGeehan, J. M., Garrett, T. M., & Garrett, R. M. (2013). Health Care Ethics (6th Edition) (6th Ed.). Hoboken: Pearson Education.

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