Health Care Ethics In Psychology: Principles and Problems

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 5
Words: 1244
Reading time:
5 min

In psychology, ethics and professional codes of Practice are the core of the profession. They stipulate norms and conditions of working with clients and their relatives. Sternberg underlines that there are many institutions catering for the needs of the nation in cases they have problems with health, but their cooperation is based solely on the contracts they conclude, and it was a strange inference to understand that actually the government does not carry any responsibility and does not have any obligations concerning the provision of healthcare services to its citizens. This discovery brought about much dispute about the level of organizational responsibility that has to be imposed on the medical institutions, the standards they have to comply with as well as the procedures they are guided by while making ethical decisions.

Now the question is raised not only about benevolence and non=maleficence – here comes the general dilemma between being guided by the law or by principles of ethics and morality. These issues are the subject of the present paper; it is necessary to understand what issues are the subject of concern for healthcare organizational responsibility, how they are kept to, and how the ethical dilemmas occurring in the day-to-day practices of healthcare executives are treated and solved.

There are often many secondary factors that have to be thoroughly considered in the psychological assessment process and that may turn out to produce a negative influence on the whole functioning, thus needing elimination. Judging from the perspective of the rational systems approach, only the formal structure of the organization is assessed. Coming closer to the non-formal structure is possible through the natural systems approach – it studies both of them in their synergy at the working place.

The open systems approach is the most efficient one under the conditions of the change, as it gives a chance to assess the level of success with which the healthcare organization has adapted to the change, which is needed for the present research. For this reason, a timely and constructive reaction is needed from hospitals and other medical institutions to comply with the innovative regulations. The worst in such a situation is that alongside the adoption of legislative regulations is usually not supported by financial support from the state, thus causing the paradox on how to comply to the new rules if there are no resources to do this. Thus, nurses who used to perform the daily operations with analyses and treatment, patient care are now supervisors over those who were not educated to be healthcare executives on the whole. A binary problem comes from this change that was initially aimed at reducing costs for keeping the staff in a medical institution. Those who do not have medical education are now performing medical operations, and those who were not taught to supervise someone have now got the managerial positions for which they do not actually fit.

What is important to understand is that the reason for human well-being lies beyond the measures of medical care, but the situation can be worsened if the resources are allocated improperly. Thus, the authors suggest that the main necessity in the medical sphere is not performance but research: they state that if the government allocated more resources for bacteriological studies it would become clear which diseases are caused by the natural environmental conditions and should be treated separately and at which ones medical care should be aimed.

The researcher and practitioners can avoid making ethical oversights or missteps paying attention to all components of the Code of Conduct and universal ethical issues. The ethical perspective in cognitive psychology can serve as an integrating force for social work practice models, coordinating assessment and various conceptualizations of knowledge and methods. Further, it can serve as a conceptual umbrella or organizing framework for developing empirical data in social work. It is potentially useful for practitioners working on both macro and micro levels and within the generalist-specialist arenas. When coupled with the assessment process, it enables the practitioner to draw from a wide choice of clinical interventions and practice models so that practice can be increasingly individualized in accordance with client needs. In social work, the unit of attention is the person-in-situation. The situation is embedded in the person’s total milieu or environment. Theorists have structured this space in ways that are different by virtue of their own fields of knowledge.

The person enters each new situation with the aim of making progressive accommodations to the immediate environment in his or her niche. This accommodation is an interdependent process that is mediated by the person’s internal forces and by forces from immediate or more remote social environments. The internal forces are composed of biological and psychological needs pressing for satisfaction. These are organized in a developmental history of experience which has been accrued through learning from interaction with the environment. The person’s activities are not viewed, however, as emanating strictly from this need-reduction model. He or she is seen as participating within the total particular milieu, always affecting and being affected by all the forces within it. One acts dynamically in new situations based on one’s identity, which is the culmination of all past interactions, the present situational demands, and what one hopes to become in the future. According to cognitive theory, these complex transactions, which may or may not result in an adaptive fit between the person and situation, determine the way in which future accommodations are achieved.

The ethically minded social worker understands the need to assess the terrain of a case, finding indirect as well as a direct influence upon the client of psychological variables. These variables may range from intimate family relationships to the political atmosphere or the helping organization. The worker looks at the interface where all these variables interact, and in learning the nature of the variables, also questions the quality of their linkages to learn which need to be strengthened or modified. In any case, the content range can extend from personality to cultural issues, from factors affecting the worker to legislation being enacted or to community support systems. Psychology provides the concepts helpful in recognizing the interrelatedness of the data.

A practitioner may want to understand the flow of energy in a family, to know what forms of nurturance exist for the children. From a psychological perspective, nurturance may flow from unexpected sources, perhaps not only from a parent but also from a distant relative. A social work consultant, seeking to understand a particular agency’s role in a community, will take note of the total service structure and resources of the area, not only the internal functioning of consulting agency or its exchange with a neighboring agency. In both examples, the psychological perspective suggests a contextual field of forces (nurturers or agency resources) that go quite beyond the confines of linear, one-to-one relationships.

The perspective promotes consideration of a more realistic context for practice and suggests a larger repertoire of interventions. The psychological variables of time and space contribute to an even richer understanding of “the case,” as would such other psychological variables as culture, politics and economics, social policies, and organizational structures. The biological processes have been translated metaphorically to social processes, helping psychologists and social workers to work consciously with interacting intimate and wider environments.