Individual Right Versus the Collective Good
Most of the recent successes in improving the public’4 s health has had to address the tension of individual rights versus the collective good. Anti-smoking campaigns and laws banning smoking in public places protect people from the negative health effects of second-hand smoke, yet some believe that they infringe on the individual rights of those who choose to smoke. Requiring childhood immunizations has helped prevent diseases such as polio and measles, but some parents assert that they have the right to decide if being immunized is in the best interest of their children.
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This tension also exists in the allocation of scarce resources, from providing adequate staff coverage to making decisions about the amount of health care to provide. Given the nurse’s involvement in policy and health care delivery, it is important to understand the dynamics of this tension, as well as the legal and ethical implications.
- When have you encountered a tension between the individual right and the collective good in your nursing practice?
- With information from the Learning Resources in mind, consider relatively recent examples of health care policy that demonstrate this tension. For this Discussion, select one example of timely health care policy that allows you to evaluate the tension between individual rights and the collective good. Conduct additional research as necessary using credible websites and the Walden Library.
By tomorrow 04/04/2018 3pm, write a minimum of 550 words in APA format with at least 3 scholarly references from the list of required readings below. Include the level one headings as numbered below”
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:
- In the first line of your posting, identify a health care policy.
- Explain the tension between individual rights and the collective good.
- Analyze the ethical and legal considerations of the policy.
Bodenheimer, T., & Grumbach, K. (2016). Understanding health policy: A clinical approach (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.
- Chapter 13, “Medical Ethics and Rationing of Health Care”
This chapter discusses the four principles of medical ethics—beneficence, malfeasance, autonomy, and justice, and views current health care conditions through these lenses. Distributive justice, allocation of limited health care resources, rationing, and the ethics of health care financing are also examined.
Bae, S., & Brewer, C. (2010). Mandatory overtime regulations and nurse overtime. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 11(2), 99–107.
The authors examine the effect of government regulations on health care issues by studying nurse overtime. They discovered that states with mandatory overtime regulations had higher total RN work hours.
Blum, J. D., & Talib, N. (2006). Balancing individual rights versus collective good in public health enforcement. Medicine & Law, 25(2), 273–281.
This article examines the balance of public good and individual liberty through the examples of policies regarding communicable disease and childhood immunization. The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Case, Jacobson v. Massachusettson health care policy is discussed.
Pauly, B. (2008). Harm reduction through a social justice lens. International Journal of Drug Policy, 19(1), 4–10.
The author discusses the ethical issue of marginalized groups, such as the homeless, and their barriers to health care. The philosophy of harm reduction and various social justice theories are examined as possible guides to a policy initiative.
Ruger, J. P. (2008). Ethics in American health 2: An ethical framework for health system reform. American Journal of Public Health, 98(1), 1756–1763.
Wieck, K. L., Oehler, T., Green, A., & Jordan, C. (2004). Safe nurse staffing: A win-win collaboration model for influencing health policy. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 5(3), 160–166.
Fowler, M. (2008). Guide to the code of ethics for nurses: Interpretation and application. M. D. M. Fowler (Ed.). Silver Spring, MD: The American Nurses Association, Inc.
O’Connor, J. C., MacNeil, A., Chriqui, J. F., Tynan, M., Bates, H., & Eidson, S. K. (2008). Preemption of local smoke-free air ordinances: The implications of judicial opinions for meeting national health objectives. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 36(2), 403–412.
Rogers, E. M., & Peterson, J. C. (2008). Diffusion of clean indoor air ordinances in the southwestern United States. Health Education & Behavior, 35(5), 683–697.
Trentham, M. (2009). Patient abandonment—What is it really? ASBN Update, 13(1).
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