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Religion And Its Impact On Ethical Decision Making In Multicultural Contexts In Healthcare

1539 words - 7 pages

Jehovah's witnesses believe that the bible has prohibited ingesting blood and have concluded and applied the same ruling on accepting blood transfusions, donating blood or storing it for transfusion. It is considered as a non-negotiable religious stand and it is believed that those who accept and appreciate life as a gift from god should not sustain it by doing something that would condemn it, such as accepting blood. Often, the doctor's ability to help a patient is limited by their beliefs, which are to be respected. Healthcare professionals can only advise their patients of the benefits of receiving the appropriate treatment whilst explaining the risks and complications that are associated ...view middle of the document...

Various procedures should all be taken into consideration according to one’s beliefs such as abortion, and various associated surgeries. Our group has chosen the topic of religious issues and their impact on ethical decision making in a multicultural context in healthcare. In this report, we will be discussing the specifics of the Roman-Catholic-Church-run hospitals in Ireland and their autonomy, as opposed to facilitated, treatment, and the lack of patient consent within the system. The research was focused on this topic in order to broaden the spectrum of ethical issues and present them from an eye-opening perspective in terms of the hospitals. Most of our research was taken from the internet through reliable sources such as Irish Health and Independent Newspaper articles. Furthermore, we will also be touching on strategies and solutions to deal with the issue of Catholic implemented healthcare as well as some of the ongoing dilemmas still occurring today.
Presently, many of the larger hospitals in Ireland are denominationally controlled by the Catholic Church. Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St. Vincent’s UH are two of the largest hospitals in Ireland and are major teaching hospitals, one of which is associated with UCD (University College Dublin). These were established by sisters of mercy as Roman Catholic hospitals, and are significant representations of Ireland’s religion-embedded health care system [1]. These hospitals are subjected to follow policies carved out by the Catholic Church in regards to issues such as contraception, abortion and sterilisation, resulting in the imposition of how patients are treated [2]. Many controversial complications have stemmed from this imposition, such as the death of an Indian woman in Galway University Hospital in 2012 when she was refused emergency abortion and later passed away due to bacterial infection after suffering a miscarriage [3]. The Catholic Church's opposition to abortion has restricted its hospitals' treatment of miscarriages. In cases where the uterus' life has been compromised medically, doctors are not allowed to carry out an abortion while the foetus' heartbeat still exists. Recently, a new law known as the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Act was passed in the month of July 2013. This law allows termination of pregnancy if there is any substantial risk to the woman, including suicide. The Irish government is being blamed for not passing the bill earlier [4]. Treatment of cancer in Catholic hospitals has become a life-threatening problem in relation to contraception. Chemotherapy is known to increase risk of abnormalities to foetal life therefore not engaging in sexual intercourse is mandatory. The hospital, more specifically the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, claimed that the drug needed to be taken with artificial contraceptives. The drug was then delayed in hopes to emphasise their negative thoughts on contraceptives. The company behind the drug later revealed that...

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