In Pozgar’s medical ethics case study, “Physician Lacks Compassion”, a patient misses a much-needed and long-awaited appointment with a rheumatology specialist physician (Pozgar, 2016, p.347). Even after explaining her desperate situation with the office scheduler, she is told of the physician’s busy schedule and that her appointment cannot be rescheduled for another month. Even though the patient is negotiating with the office scheduler and not the physician himself, it is the responsibility of the physician to ensure the medical staff follows their own professional code of ethics as well.
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The medical-ethical issues involved with the case study involve the physician’s responsibility to provide competent medical care with compassion and respect, to uphold the standards of professionalism, and to regard the responsibility to his patient as paramount (“AMA CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS,” n.d.).
One of the most important, and sometimes more difficult responsibilities, of healthcare employees, is to provide their patients with compassionate care. The first principle of the American Medical Association Code of Ethics stresses the value of compassion: “A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights” (“AMA CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS,” n.d.). Concerns about substandard patient care and lack of compassion being a contributing factor have raised questions about healthcare professionals being prepared for the challenges of their fields (Sinclair et al., 2016). Compassion is an indicator of quality health care and is expected not only by patients, but also by their families, fellow healthcare workers, and policymakers. It is also the duty of hospitals to employ competent, well-qualified, credentialed, and professional physicians,
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