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Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery
Changing Reality of an Older Population
The United States has recorded unprecedented demographic changes within the past three decades. The number of elderly people in the country is on the rise. Within the next 30 years, the number might double to over 80 million. The aging population will definitely change the country’s demographics. Unfortunately, the current policies and frameworks in the country are not designed to meet these changes. This is the case because they have been aimed at addressing the needs of a diverse population characterized by many young people (Prettner, 2013). It is quite clear that this reality might have numerous economic consequences unless sustainable policies are implemented.Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery
The first consequence is that the government will be forced to incur numerous costs in an attempt to provide pension and financial support to this aging population. This means that the government will be unable to sustain the other sectors that have continued to promote the nation’s economy. According to experts, the younger generation will be taxed heavily in order to cater for the elderly citizens (Prettner, 2013).
This projected tax burden will affect the economic goals and prospects of many young people in the country. The affected individuals will find it hard to realize their potential. The contribution of the aging generation to the economy cannot be underestimated. The current policies require the elderly to retire early. Failure to change the policies will force different programs to cater for the needs of this population. The economic goals realized from the inputs of the aging people will definitely disappear. The nation’s economic prospects depend on the manner in which the current population shifts are merged with the existing policies.
Ethical Issues Whenever Dispersing Limited Funds
The changing demographics in the United States will affect the way financial resources are distributed in the country. Some individuals might argue that the limited funds should be available to patients and populations that need them the most. However, some ethicists might explain why the concepts of equality and fairness should be upheld in order to promote equality. The second ethical dilemma arises from the fact that healthcare professionals and policymakers are required to distribute funds and resources equally. However, different populations such as the elderly will be in need of specialized of advanced medical support depending on their statuses (Bolton, 2012). The dispersion of funds to the elderly since they need them the most will definitely result in numerous ethical questions.
The issue of sustainability is a major ethical dilemma. For instance, the provision of different health services and withdrawing afterwards due to lack of funds becomes a critical issue. It would therefore be appropriate for the involved parties to make sustainable decisions. The provision of resources to one individual and ignoring another person in the same community will result in numerous ethical questions.Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery
Failure to allocate adequate funds to disabled or minority groups can be seen as a form of discrimination. The existence of policies can cause a major ethical concern. A specific policy might stipulate that the available resources should be allocated equally to specific groups. However, the healthcare worker might decide to focus on the outlined code of ethics (Bolton, 2012). The interests of a specific client might conflict with those of the public. The caregiver will therefore be unable to cater for the interests of the underserved clients effectively. Since funds should be allocated efficiently, the issue of scarcity can affect the quality of services available to the targeted clients.
Bolton, K. (2012). Ethical nursing about the allocation of scarce resources, renal transplants and commercialization. SA Orthopaedic Journal, 11(1), 74-78. Web.
Prettner, K. (2013). Population aging and endogenous economic growth. Journal of Population Economics, 26(2), 811-834. Web. Ethical Issues in Healthcare Delivery