As the health care industry continues to remain one of the major political issues in America, many medical agencies and insurance providers are bolstering efforts to ensure that patients receive the appropriate health care. Health care providers have an ethical obligation to the patient to make sure they receive important information regarding the medical process. Thus, informed consent allows the patient to make a voluntary decision to accept or refuse medical treatment based on the information disclosed by the treating health care provider during the medical process (De Bord, 2014). Essentially, informed consent is an extremely important part of the medical process because it provides the patient with the freedom to make an informed decision about their healthcare.
Thus, rationing in health care can lead to many legal, financial and ethical concerns among patients, insurance providers and physicians. All of these parties have a stake in the medical process. Due to costs, many private and government run agencies and providers are skeptical about rationing health care on behalf of the patient because minimized care reduces cost. Although all of the medical parties play a role in the health care process, the patient should be the primary stakeholder and should have the final decision regarding the type of medical care they desire for their bodies. Thus, patients’ refusal to accept health care can be a form of rationing because they are making decisions based on what they will and will not pay for. According to Singer (2009), there is a $200 billion government subsidy on health care and rationing health care allows patients to get the value for the huge public spending on health care by setting limits on medical treatments and procedures.
Essentially, patients should have the right to refuse health care if they are not comfortable with a particular medical process. Ultimately, patients should maintain autonomy over their bodies and doctors should respect their decisions as well. Health care providers should effectively communicate with the patient and provide in-depth information regarding the medical process including the procedure, risks, benefits and any reasonable alternatives. Providers should also take the time to explain the process thoroughly to the patient to make sure that they fully understand all aspects of the medical process.
Also, tailoring the medical process to fit the patient’s needs as long as it does not hinder the ethical and medical responsibility of the provider, will allow the patient to have a voice in the medical decision-making process and feel more comfortable with the procedure. Ultimately, detailed information, clear communication and a comfortable relationship between the patient/provider will help to influence the likelihood that a patient will sign informed consent and aid in a more effective health care process.