Ambulance Paramedic Responding to a House Call

The realization that emergency care for persons injured or suddenly taken ill saves lives saw the birth of first aid says Kindersley (2008). Eventually, a new profession of paramedics has come to be. The role of paramedics is to give pre hospital care to emergency victims. Moreover, it is within their mandate to calm patients’ relatives and others in public who are often hysterical.

Para medicine, being a profession implies that it has its dos and don’ts. These are the professional regulatory measures simply known as the ethics of duty.

Needless to say, the ethics of all medical disciplines revolve around the same principles. The codes of conduct expected of this profession can be summarized to four parts.

First is autonomy. Autonomy is the recognition and respect for an individual’s decision concerning their treatment. The society in general respects its member’s capability in informed decision making. Thus paramedics need to take caution of an individual’s decision concerning their treatment; otherwise, they break the law. However, it is up to the paramedic to be wise enough and gauge the individual’s competency at the time of deciding, and therefore whether or not the decision made is to be respected.

Second is Informed consent. This is the principle that an individual is entitled to understanding the possible outcomes of their choice of treatment either positive or negative. The code requires paramedics to avoid assumptions that patients understand the repercussions of their choices. Instead, they should take time and explain either to the patient or to the authorized decision maker.

Third is the code of confidentiality. This simply refers to secrecy between the medic and the patient. Medics are restricted from disclosing patients’ health information to third parties without their patients consent.

Last is the practice of truthfulness. This code of conduct requires that information given to patients by medics be true. It allows a medic to hold information from the patient until it is deemed the right time to tell, provided al that is told is the truth.

These are the four main codes of conduct for paramedics. There are other more recent ethics such as beneficence and non-malfecence but the ones discussed above are the most basic.

References

Kindersley, D. (2008). First Aid Manual: The Step by Step guide for Everyone. New York, NY: Dorling Kingsley Limited.

Medical ethics. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Web.