Dr. Vercler offered amazing insight on ethics and also brought up the question of whether or not health care professionals should be able to refuse medical treatment for a patient. The first answer that came to mind was no. It is the duty of surgeons and other health care professionals to treat and care for patients. If the patient seeks treatment, they should get the treatment they want and need, right? But after more thinking, I came to the conclusion that there isn’t a simple rule whether or not health care professionals can refuse treatment, it truly depends on the situation and the best interest of the patients.
There are different reasons that health care professionals may want to refuse treatment. For example, health care providers may want to refuse treatment for fear of doing more harm or having a death of a patient on their shoulders, as well as other religious or ethical reasons. And for different situations, different actions may be taken in regards to refusing treatment. In the case of a small chance of survival from a surgical procedure, I think it may be appropriate for a surgeon to refuse treatment. However, I don’t think the situation should stop there. As a health care provider, they should still do their best to assure that the patient is well and satisfied. They could guide their patient in the right direction, give them other options or give them information of another provider who may be willing to help them—similar to what is done in end-of-life patient situations. On another note, some LGBTQ+ members are refused treatment, for many different reasons. In this situation, I don’t think it is right to refuse people treatment because it’s against one’s religion. However, in the case of transgendered kids, it may be important to refuse treatment to irreversible procedures at first to ensure the best decision was made for the patient. In the same way, it may be acceptable to refuse treatment to a patient who is not coherent or at an able state of mind to make rational decisions.
The patient’s wellness and autonomy is very important in the care-provider/patient relationship. And while treatment should be given when needed and requested by the patient, there are some situations where this can be over-ruled by the care-provider. When do you think it’d be appropriate to refuse care to patients?
One of the most surprising myths that was debunked in Joyce’s/the panels’ lecture was that you can’t be successful if you get a C or fail and retake a class. Although it’s not the goal to get a C, I know feel more comfortable with knowing that if I were to get a C in a class I wouldn’t be unsuccessful.
With a tentative plan of going to med/grad school, the difficult classes that go along with this path was really daunting. However, seeing people who have overcome hard times in classes like orgo or even french be really successful in grad school and the real world was very uplifting.
Another really helpful thing I got from lecture was that your major really doesn’t matter. Beforehand, I planned on majoring in biochemistry or neuroscience because it matched up well with the premed prerequisites. However, after talking to Joyce and hearing this lecture, I am more comfortable in majoring in a more social science: psychology.
Going forward after this lecture, I feel more confident and less stressed out about just my grades. I know now to pursue what I want and am passionate in.
Coming into Thursday’s lecture, I was well aware of most of the discrimination that people in the LGBTQ+ community face in both the health field and in life in general. However, one of the most surprising things I learned was who initially pathologized homosexuality. I quickly assumed that the church/religion would have started this idea, but instead I found that it was actually medical professionals. Because of this, homosexuality was then diagnosed as if it were a disease. From then on, the stigma of anything outside the heteronormative person became evident and that stigma still persists today—through conscious and unconscious biases. And while bias against the LGBTQ+ community is clearly present, it surprised me to learn that bisexuals were more discriminated against in comparison to lesbian or gay people.
Discrimination of LGBTQ+ peole because of their sexual or gender orientation is not new to me, but it’s always shocking in the way that people would be discriminated against for something so seemingly trivial. While some biases against this community may be unconscious, this problem must still be addressed. I think the first step to confront this problem is to be informed of gender and sexual orientation and expression. I think by learning more about the different ways people can express themselves made it easier to be more understanding of others in the LGBTQ+ community. Being more informed about others and consciously acknowledging our biases against this and other communities would be a big step in the right direction to ending discrimination in the health field. What else do you think can be done to counter discrimination and bias against LGBTQ+ individuals in the health field?