The diversity movement suggests that there is strength in our differences and that our differences enhance each other. At the same time, the movement insists that our differences should not have economic, social, or political consequences. We are entitled to the same access to resources and opportunities regardless of our differences. The human suffering from Hurricane Katrina and the images of victims has stimulated the debate about differential access to resources.
Read the report Women in the Wake of the Storm: Examining the Post-Katrina Realities of the Women of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. On the basis of your reading, create a report, answering the following:
• Discuss the prominent dimensions of diversity revealed as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
• Discuss factors that specifically influenced women’s vulnerability to Hurricane Katrina. While answering, consider the primary dimensions mentioned in the lectures as well as the secondary dimensions such as parental and marital status, income, educational level, military experience, geographic location, work background, and religious beliefs.
• Describe the implications for healthcare organizations as a result of the disaster.
• Discuss at least of two of the policy implications that are outlined in the report. If you were given the task to add another policy recommendation what would it be and why?
Medical Indications: The Principles of Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
1. What is the patient’s medical problem? Is the problem acute? Chronic? Critical? Reversible? Emergent? Terminal?
2. What are the goals of treatment?
3. In what circumstances are medical treatments not indicated?
4. What are the probabilities of success of various treatment options?
5. In sum, how can this patient be benefited by medical and nursing care, and how can harm be avoided?
Patient Preferences: The Principle of Respect for Autonomy
1. Has the patient been informed of benefits and risks, understood this information, and given consent?
2. Is the patient mentally capable and legally competent, and is there evidence of incapacity?
3. If mentally capable, what preferences about treatment is the patient stating?
4. If incapacitated, has the patient expressed prior preferences?
5. Who is the appropriate surrogate to make decisions for the incapacitated patient?
6. Is the patient unwilling or unable to cooperate with medical treatment? If so, why?
Quality of Life: The Principles of Beneficence and Nonmaleficence and Respect for Autonomy
1. What are the prospects, with or without treatment, for a return to normal life, and what physical, mental, and social deficits might the patient experience even if treatment succeeds?
2. On what grounds can anyone judge that some quality of life would be undesirable for a patient who cannot make or express such a judgment?
3. Are there biases that might prejudice the provider’s evaluation of the patient’s quality of life?
4. What ethical issues arise concerning improving or enhancing a patient’s quality of life?
5. Do quality-of-life assessments raise any questions regarding changes in treatment plans, such as forgoing life-sustaining treatment?
6. What are plans and rationale to forgo life-sustaining treatment?
7. What is the legal and ethical status of suicide?
Contextual Features: The Principles of Justice and Fairness
1. Are there professional, interprofessional, or business interests that might create conflicts of interest in the clinical treatment of patients?
2. Are there parties other than clinicians and patients, such as family members, who have an interest in clinical decisions?
3. What are the limits imposed on patient confidentiality by the legitimate interests of third parties?
4. Are there financial factors that create conflicts of interest in clinical decisions?
5. Are there problems of allocation of scarce health resources that might affect clinical decisions?
6. Are there religious issues that might influence clinical decisions?
7. What are the legal issues that might affect clinical decisions?
8. Are there considerations of clinical research and education that might affect clinical decisions?
9. Are there issues of public health and safety that affect clinical decisions?
10. Are there conflicts of interest within institutions and organizations (e.g., hospitals) that may affect clinical decisions and patient welfare?