Legal Barriers In Health Care

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Healthcare professionals dedicate their lives to healing and comforting the ill; however, many fail to realize how costly their actions and prevention strategies truly cost. In the Money & Medicine video from PBS, the intensity of the costs of scans and procedures specifically related to birth, final years of life, and certain types of cancer. Through this video, it was brought to my attention that nearly one-third of health care money is spent during the last two years of patients’ lives. I was aware that in most cases the final two years of a person’s life require more medical attention; however, I was not aware that these costs allowed for such a large percentage of health care costs. I also learned that prostate cancer surgery is only…show more content…
One barrier that embodies multiple categories of barriers is a circumstance where the loved ones of a vegetative patient are requesting all measures to be taken despite very low odds. Financially, these desperate measures are commanding a vast amount of resources that boost costs not only for the hospital but for the family as well. Legally, the healthcare professionals are required to respect the patient’s wishes and if they wish to remain attached to expensive machines, the healthcare professional must adhere to those desires. Another ethical and legal barrier for families is knowing when to pull the plug and when to wait for a miracle. Letting go of a family member is an excruciating task to ask of anyone; however, if a patient requests to not be hooked up to life preserving machines or requests to have a DNR code status, the family must legally respect those wishes although it may not seem ethical to them. In addition to burdensome decisions about end of life care, decisions must also be made about preventative care. Although scans such as mammograms help to detect signs of serious illnesses, they often reveal a negative test result. This negative test result may present a peace of mind for the patient; however, they also heighten healthcare costs creating a financial barrier for patients and the hospital. Recognition of these barriers, among others, renders the need for quality improvement. My understanding of the goal of quality improvement is to redesign a system in a way that provides the maximal quality of care and improved patient outcomes while lowering the overall costs to all parties

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