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Ethical Dilemma of Illegal Immigrant Seeking Treatment - Article Example

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Ethical Dilemma of Illegal Immigrant Seeking Treatment Professor Institution Date Ethical Dilemma of Illegal Immigrant Seeking Treatment Case Study Santana is a 34 year old male patient who enters the emergency department of Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center with a lot of bleeding from his right arm and a clear demonstration of bruising on the other arm and legs…
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Ethical Dilemma of Illegal Immigrant Seeking Treatment

However, the car did not stop after the hit and as a result Santana was forced to run to the nearest emergency department despite the deep pain he was in. The medical history of the patient reveals that he has no health insurance. Furthermore, the patient is one of the undocumented immigrants from Mexico who has stayed in America for three years. With notable hesitation Santana explains to the nurse that he lives with his relatives who are also illegal immigrants. The nurse discovers that the patient has a broken arm and needs immediate medical care and close monitoring. Without mush thought or delay, Susan attends to her patient by providing the recommended nursing care and treatment for the patient’s condition. Susan is approached by one of her colleagues who emphasizes that the patient she is attending to is an illegal immigrant and, thus, she is violating the provisions of the law by treating him. This does not stop Susan from providing further emergency care to Santana. She tells her colleague that all she is doing is performing her duties as an emergency care nurse. Introduction Health care is a basic human right and, therefore, all human beings have the right to unbiased access to quality medical care services regardless of their citizenship status. Nurses are obliged to provide care with compassion, professionalism and respect while upholding the worth, uniqueness and dignity of every individual without bias (The American Nurses Association, 2001). Hence, nurses should provide quality care for patients regardless of their personal attributes, health condition, economic, social and political standing. Therefore, nurses should not discriminate patients during care based on the fact that they are illegal immigrants. Nurses should have their primary commitment while striving to protect and promote the rights, safety and health of the patient (The American Nurses Association, 2001). The federal law stipulates that illegal immigrants who have stayed in the country for a period of less than 5 years are not legally eligible for Medicaid (Winograd, 2006). This illustrates that emergency care nurses are often faced with a dilemma related to their ethical and legal obligations in the provision of unbiased care for all individuals. Position Statement This paper presents argumentative discussion of the legal ethical dilemma that emergency department nurses are faced with in the treatment of illegal immigrants. The discussion aims at illustrating why the ethical obligations of nurses, as provided by the American Nurses Association, should not be limited by the legal provisions against care for illegal immigrants. The discussion will be based on evidence from credible information materials on the issue and an accurate reflection of the implication of legal provisions on the role of nurses and their ethical obligations. This discussion will be based on the case study which provides illustrations of situations where the ethical obligation of nurses surpasses the requirement of the law. It is important to note that for the sake of confidentiality and privacy, the names given in the case study are not the actual names of the people involved in the case. Supportive Evidence The provisions of the American Nurs ... Read More
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