Medical Law and Ethics – Health System Example

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'Medical Law and Ethics' is a good example of a paper on the health system.   It is believed that firms that have a mission statement and that make a point of communicating it to its workforce show a better performance than those without. It is for this reason that a study by Bain and Company, a consulting firm, found that out of 500 firms tested in the survey over 90% of them had vision and mission statements. It is important to have the goals and philosophy of the firm understood by the employees since it is such that it will guide their activities in the firm. How should healthcare plans balance the interests of all the enrolled patients with the interests of a patient who has special medical needs and extraordinary expenses?

Ensuring the provision of excellent primary health care to society is the main role of health institutions. Such services should be made available to all the members of the community not considering their status or medical condition. At times, it is prudent to set up strategies that target the most disadvantaged in society since they many times face the hardest obstacles in accessing health care.

At the same time, it is important to balance the needs of all enrolled patients giving preference only to the severity and fatality of the condition as opposed to the status of the person or their medical needs. For this reason, equitable health care plans should be set up. The integrated physician-hospital organization should facilitate an array of medical procedures and help better utilize the existing infrastructure and recourses that a hospital may have.

It is also important to put independent and employed physicians on an equal playing field as this helps realize the objectives of the hospital (Herring, 2010). What can be done to ensure that MCOs provide ethical care for all patients? Managed care has been credited with helping reduce the inflation of the medical cost by limiting unnecessary hospitalizations and making the health care providers lower their rates thus making the industry efficient. However, the MCOs (managed care organization) are viewed by many as being more concerned about saving money in reduced expenses as opposed to the provision of quality healthcare.

The perception has been derived from the fact that most of the managed health plans are run by for-profit companies. Many also believe that MCOS limit the duration of time that a patient spends with the doctors and make it difficult for the sick to see specialists on account of their cost-saving mechanisms (Culyer, 2014). As such proper legislation should be passed, that would set the standards for managed care. More pressure should also be put on insurance companies to offer better plan options that allow for a more comprehensive care network. . What impact will manage care have upon your career as an allied health professional? Managed care organizations have played a crucial role in helping the health industry become more competitive and efficient.

They also have helped lower the medical cost thus making health care more affordable to the consumers. As an allied health professional, it is clear that to keep an edge over the rest one has to be more efficient and professional since there are other players in the field. The competition in the provision of medical services can only result in better services to the patient which is the delight of any professional in this area (Dranove, n.d. ). What does ERISA control? ERISA seeks to protect the assets of millions of US citizens and ensure that the funds that an individual may place in a retirement plan will be available when the person retires.

ERISA is a federal law that also sets the minimum standards applicable to pension schemes in the private industry (Schneider & Pinheiro, 2012). The ERISA law does not require the employer to set up a pension plan.

However, if the employer does maintain a pension plan, the law stipulates some of the conditions that must be met. Such conditions include; when an employee can become a participant, the duration that an employee has to work before having a nonforfeitable interest in the plan among others. What does the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 control? The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) is a federal law that sets the national minimum wage and working hours for employees in the United States.

The law is applicable to employees in firms engaged in commerce or in interstate commerce and those employed in businesses that produce goods for commerce. Senator Hugo Black drafted the law and set the limit for working hours in such enterprises to a forty-hour workweek or an eight-hour day as other hours worked would be considered as overtime. The Act provides for a minimum wage and stipulates that overtime is at one-and-a-half times of the regular pay (Dol. gov, 2015). According to the Act, children under the age of eighteen cannot perform certain dangerous functions as those under sixteen should not work during school hours. Should healthcare employees be unionized?

Why or why not? Healthcare employees should also be unionized so as to enjoy the benefits that other unionized employees have. One of the primary advantages that a union can have to an employee is the strength of numbers and the power to negotiate. A union can negotiate some enforceable contracts that an individual employee may not have the time and means to (McConnell, 2011). Some contracts that identify issues such as overtime, vacation, pay scales, as well as the working conditions such as nurse-to-patient ratios, are also better protected and enforced through a union.

Through a union, a health worker can also push for enactment of laws that help regulate hospitals and other aspects of health care. Identify the principal kinds of illegal discrimination that result in unequal employment opportunities. Discrimination refers to the actions whereby an employment agency or a given employer does not treat all the situated qualified applicants or employees equally. Illegal discrimination is the unfair different treatment of an applicant or an employee based on their actions or class (Centeno & Newman, 2010).

Discrimination in this regard may fall into two distinct categories. The first is discrimination against an individual that is a member of a protected class or group. Such include ethnic minorities, racial minorities, the elderly or young, different sexual orientation, different gender, disability and on the basis of religion. The second type of unlawful discrimination deals with protected activities. Such activities may include: serving on a jury, reporting an illegal deed by the employer, a workers’ compensation claim and taking protected leave.

Such discrimination is illegal and any person grieved can take appropriate legal actions. Most of the laws that are against discrimination are administered by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).                                                                                


Fremgen, B. (2009). Medical law and ethics. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson.

Herring, J. (2010). Medical law and ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Culyer, A. (2014). Encyclopedia of health economics. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Dranove, D. The economic evolution of American health care.

Schneider, P., & Pinheiro, B. (2012). ERISA. New York: Wolters Kluwer & Business. (2015). U.S. Department of Labor -- History -- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Retrieved 12 May 2015, from

McConnell, C. (2011). The health care manager's legal guide. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Centeno, M., & Newman, K. (2010). Discrimination in an unequal world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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