Yes, there is something wrong with health care professionals’ involvement in sharing patient information to marketers in exchanging for payments. Even if marketers’ payments went to the hospital or other patients, sharing patient information is still unethical. The said practice is unethical because health care professionals are bound to privacy and confidentiality laws. Patients’ right to privacy and confidentiality agreements with health care professionals are mandated by law in Vietnam (Ha & Hien, 2010). For this reason, patients must be involved in decision-making, such that if the health care professional want to share patient information, patients should be asked for their consent.
It could be ethically acceptable to make money from other people’s desire to have their children be as health as possible under the condition that services offered to parents truly contribute to the overall wellbeing of their children. It is understandable that businesses would require capital and revenue to continue providing quality health care products. In this situation, it would be ethically acceptable for people to pay brands or companies so they can receive quality health care products that are good for their children. As long as parents receive quality products for their children and these products truly contribute to children’s health, then it is acceptable.
Health care should not be treated as a commodity because doing so defeats the objectives and purpose of providing health care to the population. When we say ‘health care’, we are talking about the health and wellbeing of people. Hence, health care professionals’ mandate is to prioritize the wellbeing of patients and make sure that they receive the services they need. Since the focus of health care is the wellbeing of patients, it must not be treated as a commodity but as a basic human right (Freeman, 2012; Roosen, 2014). Doing so makes revenue the priority instead of the patients’ wellbeing. If health care were a commodity, hospitals, clinics, and other companies or businesses in the health care industry would prioritize revenue and growth of their business instead of providing health care services to patients.
Freeman, J. (2012). Health is not a commodity: Let us get the language right. Retrieved from: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2012/november/health-is-not-a-commodity-let-us-get-the-language-right
Ha, D. H. & Hien, L. T. (2010). Vietnam: Privacy in Vietnam. Russin & Vecchi.
Roosen, T. (2014). Health is a human right, not a commodity. Retrieved from: https://www.devex.com/news/health-is-a-human-right-not-a-commodity-84772