AN ASSESSMENT OF PERCEPTIONS AND KNOWLEDGE OF HEALTH CARE ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AMONG HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS IN THE KUMASI METROPOLIS

Abstract

Ethical theories and principles in health care are the foundations of ethical analysis. This is because they have become the viewpoints from which guidance can be obtained along the pathway to a decision. Each theory emphasizes different points such as predicting the outcome and following one’s duties to others in order to reach an ethically correct decision. However, in order for an ethical principle to be useful, the theory must be directed towards a common set of goals. Health care ethical principles are the common goals that all health practitioners try to achieve in order to be successful. These goals include beneficence, non-malficence (least harm), respect for autonomy and justice. In addition, are other related principles like; confidentiality, informed consent and truth telling. The objective of the paper finds whether or not health care practitioners in Kumasi are aware and knowledgeable of the use of the ethical principles which their profession confer on them. The research employed the use of questionnaires and interviews to obtain views from 220 respondents from the Kumasi metropolis (Ghana). Respondents gave diverse opinions in respect of their knowledge about these basic principles. The research identifies that many health care practitioners in the Kumasi metropolis attach little or no attention to the implementation of ethical principles. Several recommendations are made in reposting the challenges faced in the implementation of ethical principles. It is to be understood that ethical theories and principles bring significant characteristics to the decision-making process. This therefore makes a research into ethical and moral responsibilities among health care practitioners exclusively relevant.

Keywords: Ethical Principles, Ethics, Health Care, Knowledge, Perception, Well-being


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 77-92 (Download PDF)

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