Recently, a senate was reported to have blocked the signing of a government strategy to deny the access of government pensions to the people with a disability caused by substance abuse. The withdrawal of the pensions would mean that these people would hardly access the basic healthcare services. Drug abuse is also a controversial concern in the inpatient department in any medical facility. This has attracted some social debates on whether the addicts should be allowed to access the Intensive Care Units. The medical practitioners are the most affected by the dilemmas arising from this issue. There is a collision between the ethical codes of conduct, the observance of the human rights and the adherence to the dictates of human rights.
Human dignity is a primary consideration in the ethical and Christian philosophies that the dignity of a human being is deep-rooted in the fact that they are all made in the image of God. This dismisses all the conclusions likely to be made in relation to personal character, ethnic and racial background. Individuals seeking treatment in the ICU’s under drug influence have a right to access it in this point of view (D’Aunno, et al., 2015, p. 800). Failure to do this, the medical facilities ought to be charged with the failure to uphold human dignity. However, the drug addicts are also responsible for maintaining their personal dignity. People ought to lead righteous lives in order to gain respect from others. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that every human being possesses some inherent dignity that must be recognized (Barilan, 2017). The drug addicts should be coerced to stop substance abuse failure to which their access to the ICU should be denied.
Ethically, drug abuse is unacceptable. All the virtue-based ethical theories denounce addiction. Although the subscribers of the consequence-based theory argue in a position that could allow their admission in hospitals, this might not be the best option. The deontologists argue that it is a moral duty or obligation to act in the right way (McInnis & Robeson, 2016, p. 16). Ideally, the medical institutions have the duty to protect human lives regardless of their practices. Again, all humans have an obligation to live in line with the moral guidelines of the society. Virtue ethics on the other hand recommends that character matters above all else. Living ethically requires a strict adherence to and demonstration of the societal virtues (McInnis & Robeson, 2016, p. 22). Drug abuse is never a virtue. Every society condemns it and all the members ought to restrain from temptations to drug addiction.
The society at times tends to fix the medical practitioners on the grounds of the recommended code of conduct. The professional ethics of the medical practitioners dictate that the highest mission is the involvement in the best practices to save human lives (Hughes, 2014, p. 2). They are bound to practice passion and devotion in the service of others. There is no point in the professional code of conduct that the doctors and the nurses are advised to discriminate against patients owing to their undesirable practices. Ideally, this is a misunderstanding coined to exploit the nurses. The society ought to be more lenient and humane to the needs of the doctors and nurses.
In conclusion, the provision of the health care preserved for the substance abusers is unjustifiable both lawfully and ethically. It is only a few individuals who can support the presence of the addicted in the ICU’s majorly for selfish gains. The presence of the drug abusers in healthcare units poses a problem to almost all the departments in the hospitals. The security of the other patients and the staff is threatened.
Barilan, Y. M., 2017. Human Dignity, Human Rights, and Responsibility. [Online]
[Accessed 26 September 2017].
D’Aunno, T., Friedmann, P. D., Chen, Q. & Wilson, D. M., 2015. Integration of Substance Abuse Treatment Organizations into Accountable Care Organizations:Results from a National Survey. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 40(4), pp. 798-819.
Hughes, L. D., 2014. How should healthcare students view addiction and substance. Scottish Universities Medical Journal, 1(4), pp. 1-3.
McInnis, O. A. & Robeson, P., 2016. Alberta Healthcare Professionals’ Perceptions of Prescription Drug Misuse. Canadian Journal of Addiction, 7(2), pp. 14-32.