Human diversity refers to the variety of cultural, social, and/or spiritual factors that may influence an individual's response to health care provision. A sensitive approach to ethnic identity and individual sensibilities needs to be adopted by mental health care providers, since individual health shares a common denominator of cultural and other assumptions with the sociological context in which the patient's sensibility is located. According to the NICE guidelines, personal testimonies of patients have suggested that many health care providers are biased against patients who have expressed or acted on the desire to commit suicide. Such innate prejudices must be weeded out by the profession as a whole before adequate provision can be made for the holistic treatment of those suffering from mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, as in John's case.
In terms of the ethical dimension of mental health care, it is of primary importance that (a) the patient's cultural and religious background be understood, and this understanding be incorporated into the person's health care plan; and (b) that the particular health care provider/s assigned to a person's care be innately familiar with the person's cultural history. This will enable the health care provider to assess the patient's progress or decline within an informed framework of understanding that is created with reference to the person's individual history, rather than on a generic understanding of the disease and its contexts. It is all too easy to create modules of understanding for disorders such as schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, but a health care nurse or other practitioner needs to remember that patients are individuals who are likely to respond differently to treatment which are the same, and that understanding the patient's medical as well as cultural background are essential for effective diagnosis and treatment.
The first fact of significance to be noted in John's case is that he seems to have a problem with getting steady employment, and that he has tried and failed in various fields to find satisfaction in terms of his professional life.
Whether it is in acute care, such as the Emergency Room, chronic care such as a nursing home or a primary setting such as a doctor's office, the goals of broader contextual objectives must be kept in mind. In John's case, it is imperative that an experienced mental health nurse be assigned for his care. His talk of attempted suicide is definitely a defining life event, and should be treated as an intrinsic aspect of his condition and, subsequently, his care.
John's case merits a focus on human diversity especially considering his disparate professional activities, and his excessive isolation from others around him. His turning to withdrawal from social activities and personal care and hygiene at frequent times also indicates that he is suffering from social and emotional alienation from himself as well as from others. His motivations must be understood in terms of this isolation.
There is also evidence to suggest that John is a victim of socioeconomic alienation. Given his age and employment status, it is also likely that he has been caused some emotional distress by his lack of ability to hold a consistent job, especially after the death of his father.