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What are some current medical ethical issues?

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Quick Answer

Current medical ethical issues include how to balance the need for high-quality health care with efficiency and how to allocate limited organs and medicines, as of December 2015. Tort reform is another current issue, with the medical field struggling to balance provider accountability with frivolous lawsuits.

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Providers must balance quality and efficiency when making end-of-life decisions for a patient. Specifically, providers grapple with how and whether to fund end-of-life medical treatment given the high cost of providing care for the elderly. Access to care as it relates to patient ability to pay is a similar ethical issue. In the United States, opinions differ as to how and whether the government should fund access to health care for citizens or for all persons within its borders.

Limited availability of transplant organs and medicines leave medical providers considering how to allocate supply as well as how to encourage organ donation. Some suggest improving manufacturer incentives to produce medicines that are in short supply, notes AMN Healthcare. In addition, some critics state that medical providers order unnecessary tests in order to prevent lawsuits. As of December 2015, this issue concerns how to balance holding providers accountable for malpractice with avoiding unnecessary medical procedures.

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