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2012 (Vol. 4, Issue: 2)
Article Information:

Making a Difference to Patients: Perspectives of Health Care Ethics

Kahiga Joseph Kiruki
Corresponding Author:  Kahiga Joseph Kiruki 

Key words:  Health care ethics, ‘I-Thou relationship’ holistic approach, option for the poor, , , ,
Vol. 4 , (2): 93-98
Submitted Accepted Published
July 08, 2011 October 24, 2011 March 20, 2012
Abstract:

The aim of this study is to highlight the importance of healthcare ethics in addressing the alleviation of the suffering of the poor and sick patients by healthcare givers. One’s social, economic status, class, race, tribe, clan and gender become variables of branding or giving diminutive attributes to those different from ‘us’. Those ‘others’ are the most disadvantaged to the level that they are regarded as ‘things’ or ‘objects’ instead of humans or ‘subjects’ with dignity. The study seeks to unveil the mindset that is behind the suffering of the ‘others’ who are basically the poor and the sick and suggest the way forward in re-establishing the dignity of a person irrespective of the social status, class, race or gender and health condition. Through modern advancement in medical technology, we have made an attempt to vanquish all diseases and postpone death indefinitely to the advantage of the rich who can afford it while the poor die in droves from preventable and curable diseases. Our assumptions and perceptions make the foundation upon which we act thereby laying bare our ‘value systems’. The study focuses on healthcare ethics and will use a rational critical discourse to arrive at the conclusions. We use Martin Buber’s concept of the ‘I-Thou’ relationship as our conceptual framework that assists to contextualize the healthcare ethics in the consideration of the healthcare giver as the ‘I’ and the patient as the ‘Thou’. The Christian Scriptures form the basis upon which healthcare givers find the foundation of their values and actions. A human being irrespective of status is a subject ‘I’ and is the image of God who is the ‘Thou’. This relationship ought to be contextualized in interpersonal healthcare network forming an ‘IThou’ link between healthcare giver and patient thereby delivering quality healthcare service without discrimination on the basis of ‘status’ or class.
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  Cite this Reference:
Kahiga Joseph Kiruki, 2012. Making a Difference to Patients: Perspectives of Health Care Ethics.  Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2): 93-98.
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