Psychosocial and Ethical Issues

In this assignment, the psychosocial and ethical issues involved in the disease and in the possible management of such patients will be analysed through a reflective account.
Case: This is a little girl of age 9, suffering from a leukaemia. She is attending this hospital for followup chemotherapy. Her mother accompanies her every time, and she seems to be very supportive to her daughter throughout these treatment cycles.
Ethical Issues: Every patients and care involve some ethical issues. Pediatric patients such as this go through grueling rituals of management in the clinical setting. Quite often, these involve multidisciplinary workup and management. In the clinical situation, these are data of various categories and their interpretations. Changes in the clinical conditions and other parameters are discussed in order to design a therapy that suits best to the clinical conditions of these children. These situations are often grappled with ethical issues which tend to neglect the patient and the physician perspectives, even though they may be ethically sound. This is a chronic condition, and the mechanism of coping with such a severe disease for a little child like her is always a problem, and it is more so for the family or the mother. The patient has her own rights, but the fact that the patient is a dependent member of the family, and therefore, many of her decisions will be made by the physicians and the family, adjusting to her growing competence and maturity. It is very evident that the medical professional will have to act with fewer presumed limits on their commitment of care. The principles of beneficence may counteract with the principle of autonomy in case of this pediatric patient. Obviously, this would vary from those in case of adult patients.
It is to be noted that cancer is no longer that deadly. With tremendous improvement in medications and technologies, the outcome is no that poor. All these have led to changes in the ways the physicians communicate with their patients. Truth telling perhaps is the most important ethical responsibility of a healthcare professional. Although truth is dynamic in nature, truth about a patient’s condition is a combination of both subjective and objective factors. It also involves psychosocial aspects as to how it is interpreted by the patient and the physician. This matter is further complicated by the fact that the patient is a child. However, ethically, the healthcare professionals are bound to lead to honest transmission of what is accepted medical knowledge at a given time. This must accept the fact that the patient is not passive, rather an active participant in the decision making process, embodying autonomy. Since the child is just 9 years old with cancer, there is a high chance that there would be considerable extent of paternalism. However, due to superior medical knowledge, the doctor may lead to medical benefit out of this, but that may not ensure patient benefit. However, the patient’s mother who has been supportive to her may also do the same thing, and despite that, the doctor will have to depend on her. It is to be remembered that the patient, despite being a child, has her own value systems, cultural beliefs, and religious beliefs.
In the changed scenario of the present time, a shared decision making is the rule of the hour. Moreover, the patient would want to assert autonomous control

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