Ethical Issues in Healthcare Management - Free Essay Example

Published: 2023-11-07
Ethical Issues in Healthcare Management - Free Essay Example
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Management Ethics Healthcare
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1846 words
16 min read


In the medical field today, ethical decision-making is paramount in making sure that processes put in place are well followed and that they favor the group of people that is being represented. A high level of professionalism is required in the healthcare industry since it deals with the lives of real people that may, in one way or the other, be affected, amputated, or even lead to death. Ethical decision-making can simply be understood as the process of following set of ethical principles in evaluating and choosing from several alternatives. It is necessary to identify and do away with unethical options that may present themselves in selecting the finest ethical option.

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According to the case study, there were some principles and values to ensure that the veterans were treated as it was expected. These values are among the top ones that are paramount in the operations of the health industry. There is a need for the setup and actualization of strict measures to limit any form of indifference in the system used to evaluate the care that the Vets are to be accorded. There was no evidence of development programs to instill and audit the cultivation of ethics in the system.

Analysis of Problems at the VA

There is a necessity in regarding the system and responsibility process that is essential according to the ethical requirements. The change that was supposed to be made to incorporate the vets into the healthcare plan was not advocated for because of the lack of trust delegation. According to Ulrich et al. (2017), a clear stipulation was made to create a form of understanding of the hierarchy of authority and the recognition of each and everyone's responsibilities. As ethically required, the management was to incorporate the Vets into the delivery system by making the required healthcare changes. The ongoing program was good and had promising outcomes but was defective due to the lack of coordination, thus making it ineffective. The ineffectiveness of the program is what led to the sudden resignation of Shinseki. The prompt decentralization of the Vets' delivery of services depended on the coordination of the concerned parties.

Furthermore, Vargas et al. (2017) suggest that the core of a system should be based on the coordination that would be required. The death of some of the vets was caused by poor networking by the management and staff. This instability in the network hindered effective future evaluation due to poor and ineffective planning. The leadership did not consider some of the ethical factors like supervision mechanism, improvement of the working conditions of the staff, and the advancement of their skills. These factors would have been a great contribution to the primary care model that would have benefited the veterans.

According to Values and Culture in ethical decision making, the lack of an effective leadership turnover was one of the major problems that were faced. The leadership was to guide concerning the roles that the rest of the people were to be given to actualize the program that was in hand. The necessary ethical standards, such as laws and policies, were not followed. The whole program was not well analyzed to ensure that all operations were going on well.

A low staff census was another problem that was faced. It reacted to the service delivery of care to the Vets. The strain in the number of staff would also mean there would be a strain in the service delivery since the staff would be overwhelmed by the workload. Some names not appearing in the Electronic Waiting List (EWL) could have developed due to the lack of sufficient staff to ensure that the lists were accurately updated.

The Ethical Issue of not Listing 1700 Vets and Policies/Standards to be used

According to the "ACHE Code of Ethics," (2017), part II of the code talks of the responsibilities that an executive owes the person that they serve. The code is clearly against the mishaps that were evident in the actualization of this program. Not registering the 1700 veterans was a major mishap since the executive denied them service, which is clearly against the ACHE code of ethics. The process of evaluating the type and quality of service accorded to the veterans was faulty. It would have brought to light the mishaps that were happening. It was among the unethical shortcomings that were witnessed, leading to the program's failure.

The keeping of the Vets waiting for a primary care appointment was unfair and unethical. It was not good for their health and was quite a hazard for them. The health department ought to have collected the information of the veterans from when they were still civilians. That would have reduced the embarrassment of explaining to them that they are not listed in the EWL. It was an honest careless mistake and caused some of the deaths and complications experienced by the vets (Cathy & Flite, 2017). The uncertain deaths would have been avoided provided the management followed the laid down ethical framework in the provision of services.

According to Cathy and Flite (2017), there is a need to set clear conditions that manage the information in the health system. The EWL system is one to be used in the relaying of information to the primary providers of care for the Vets. Those are two different branches in the healthcare system that are relied upon by the Vets. There is a need to develop a platform where the two branches can check the information they both possess to ensure they are on the same page to avoid scenarios like the one in the case study. The information would be fed to the system as soon as the Vet is registered and the information revised after a stated period. That would ensure that the health caregivers will have sufficient information regarding the Vets and the support that they need (Cathy & Flite, 2017). That will ensure that the management reduces the issues of ethical misconduct due to the deprivation of services to those who need it. It will also be a great contributor to reducing the total amount of time to be taken in serving a single veteran.

A policy of openness between cross platforms is necessary for the army must be in connection with the EWL platform. Here they would be able to feed information concerning a particular veteran. They would also give information as to how many persons in the country have served in the army and any special care or complications that exist (Cathy & Flite, 2017). This cooperation between the army and the health care providers will ensure that the primary caregivers have the necessary information hence making the project a success.

Reasons for Resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki

The lack of ability to oversee the operations of the system gave Shinseki reason to resign reprehensibly. He had failed to oversee the Ethics Code, which guides the protection of the person receiving the service. The veterans who depended on the staff under his leadership were subjected to unnecessary terrible conditions like the missing from the treatment list. Others, unfortunately, met their demise (Vargas et al., 2017). Under his watch, there was a lack of the creation of an efficient healthcare system to serve the veterans. The delays caused by the EWL led to the veteran's death, which could be directly linked to him since he was the one deciding the matter of their health.

Options that Shinseki could have Taken

The first option that he had was undertaking a personal program to be used in the fixing of the problem that the program was facing. He could personally look into the issues that the program was facing and come up with solutions to ensure that they are resolved (Vargas et al., 2017). He could improve the professionalism in the health sector. That would create a good public image, and thus there would be no negative reviews on the credibility of the healthcare system.

Another option that he had was the allocation of the available resources according to the ethical requirements. There was a need for him to spearhead the improvement of the practices that the management and staff undertook in the issue of services to the veterans. Provision of an environment where they could come clean about the current challenges they are facing, leading to the minimization of mistakes between workers and management (Cathy & Flite, 2017). The secretary should have implemented policies to ensure that the stipulated code of ethics is adhered to. The policies are in line with the general requirements of the law. He could have also availed necessary equipment for the facilities like hiring enough staff to ensure that things are running smoothly and that each veteran has been adequately attended to.

Application of the (ACHE) Code of Ethics

There was a massive deficiency in adherence to the code of conduct evident in the case study, which led to veterans' suffering and even death. The lack of guiding principles led to the laxity and laziness of the staff and management (Cathy & Flite, 2017). Ethics are violated through some ineffectiveness seen in the delay experienced in getting care appointments. That led to the pushing forward of dates and eventual deaths of some veterans.

The absence of names in the EWL was a clear indication of an underlying ethical issue which, if present, would have enabled the veterans to receive the necessary healthcare that they needed. Shinseki's resignation was uncalled for since the problem in hand had other means to be addressed (Cathy & Flite, 2017). The restoration of the program's dignity would have been necessary through the creation of a platform to correct the mistakes.


Ethical decision-making is necessary to ensure that service delivery in the healthcare system is well undertaken. As evident in the case study, various problems were a clear indication of the lack of ethical morality. The various practices were not going well due to the lack of a solid creation of principles to be followed. The issue of not listing 1700 veterans was not ethically correct, and this was a failure in the health department. We can, however, conclude the service delivery that, if there is good cooperation between the Army and the Health Department on veterans' issues, there will be a good flow of information to the health caregivers. That would ensure ethical practices are upheld in the healthcare industry.


ACHE Code of Ethics. (2017).

Cathy A. Flite, L. (2017). Code of Ethics: Principles for Ethical Leadership. PubMed Central (PMC).

Ulrich, C., Taylor, C., Soeken, K., O’Donnell, P., Farrar, A., Danis, M., & Grady, C. (2017). Everyday ethics: ethical issues and stress in nursing practice.

Vargas, I., Mogollón-Pérez, A., De Paepe, P., Ferreira da Silva, M., Unger, J., & Vázquez, M. (2017). Barriers to healthcare coordination in market-based and decentralized public health systems: a qualitative study in healthcare networks of Colombia and Brazil.

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