As a health care practitioner, am of an opinion that it was right for the center for disease control to immediately take action; since failure to this may have led to the spread of tuberculosis to other people. Mr. Speakers right to autonomy as a patient could not be exercised in this case because such options do not apply in emergency cases like this one. Therefore, he could not be allowed to make decisions on; whether to seek treatment or not; due the harm that he might have caused to others.
The principle of beneficence was applicable by the center for disease control in this case in that; the authority instituted this act of forcefully hospitalizing the victim; with the aim of protecting the welfare of other people. This principle was also aimed at benefitting Mr. Speaker, by promoting his health. On the other hand, this can be seen as a violation of human right; since the patient himself is supposed to make his or her own decisions on, whether to seek treatment or not. This means that, there was ignorance in the application of the principle of autonomy, by the centre for disease control.
Even though the process of hospitalization corrected Mr. Speaker’s diagnosis, the centre for disease control would have seeked the patient’s consent, before taking any actions. They would have informed the patient on the benefits of seeking treatment, and the effects of not getting care. With this information, the patient would have been in a better position to apply the principle of autonomy in making his decision; while considering the principle of beneficence. Therefore, the center for disease control’s Act was not right at that point in time; it would have been better if they would have approached to this situation in a polite manner that would make the patient feel respected.
In our scenario, it is evident that the Mr. Speakers right to autonomy and the center for disease control’s principle of beneficence were conflicting. This is evident due to the involuntary act of hospitalizing the patient. In this case, the patient who is an adult of sound mind, would have been given a chance to make decisions; since this patient meets the requirements for decision making. Therefore we can say that it was unethical for the centre for disease control to decide on behalf of the patient on whether to seek treatment or not.
The center for disease control acted in an unethical manner in the application of its public health act because, it did not freely; and without any influence allows Mr. Speaker to make his decision. They would have used a competent person; who possesses full knowledge of tuberculosis, to provide information about this disease to the patient. At this juncture, the patient would have then acted on this information to make decisions on whether to be hospitalized or not. It is advisable that, since autonomy does not only allow patients to come up with their own decisions, it is the responsibility of the center for disease control, while upholding the public service Act; to be able to set up conditions that would facilitate autonomous decisions that aim at beneficence. And with this in place, the authorities would have not acted in unethical manner that led to the violation of Mr. Speaker’s fundamental right as a rational being of sound mind.
Asveld, L. (2008). Respect for autonomy and technological risks. Delft: s.n
Dolgoff, R., Loewenberg, F. M., & Harrington, D. (2009). Ethical decisions for social work practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.