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Culture is carried on from one generation to the other through learning and socialization. This paper explores healthcare ethics and cultural diversity using a case study to understand the topic and unlock the dilemma caused by culture in medical practice. In healthcare services, practitioners are often faced with a challenge of whether to carry out medical procedures at the expense of cultural dictates of patients or adhere to the culture of patients other than medical procedures. This posses a very hard choice to make and calls for wisdom in the practice. To elucidate this dilemma, it is proper to illustrate using a case study. In our case, a five years old child is suffering from massive haemorrhage due to a road accident, and her life is in a critical condition. Doctors have established that the only way to save the child is through blood transfusion. However, her parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and they are adamant on blood transfusion since it is against their religious belief. The doctors are therefore perplexed on whether to save the life of the child or bow to the cultural beliefs of her parents. It is important to take note that the child is only five years old, and according to the law, she cannot make vital decisions for herself. The bewilderment of doctors in this context is justifiable since culture, ethical code of conduct and medical practice are intertwined. It is this inseparability that has prompted a requirement of medical practitioners to have an in-depth understanding of cultural diversities of patients. Elaine (2004, p.259), states that, it is important to develop a practice that is sensitive to culture. Code of conduct in health care also requires medics to avoid behaviours that may undermine the ...Show more
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Summary

The society is a system made up institutions like social, political, economic, religious and cultural, which are interrelated and work together for sustenance and development. Culture involves how people live within this system and is entrenched in values, mores, norms and…
Case study
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