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Legal & Ethical Aspects of Health Information Management
Instructor: Michelle Cranney

The three aspects of the cycle of life, in bioethical issues, are the beginning of life, to sustaining or improving quality of life, and to the end of life or death (McWay, 2010). Ethical issues that are included in the beginning of life are family planning (the use of contraceptives or not), abortion, perinatal ethics (in-vitro fertilization) and eugenics (breeding to produce a superior species in humans). Ethical issues related to the quality of life or supporting life are related to HIV/AIDS, organ transplantation and genetic science. Topics related to death and dying are euthanasia (medicated painless death), withdrawing and withholding support (on life support to sustain life) and preparing for the end of life such as an advanced directive (legally granting rights to an individual in the event that the patient is unable to). One of the bioethical debates in the country is concerning beginning of life and abortion. Some people consider abortion killing, and others believe it is a form of contraception. Moral and religious views affect person beliefs, and opinions of believing that all abortion is a sin. Some only justify abortion in the instance of rape committed against the mother. Others consider abortion as an alternative when the fetus has a genetic abnormality such as a condition that is non-compatible with life or a condition that limits the quality of life. Other issues related to abortion are discussions on the father’s role in the decision and the right to be informed and the issue of treating a pregnant minor without parental consent. For centuries women were subject to unsanitary conditions in order to receive an abortion, sometimes ending in death of both the fetus and the mother. I feel that it is the role of legislation to be pro choice and support the rights of women. In January 1973, in the US Supreme Court case of Roes vs. Wade, the court ruled that it would be unconstitutional to infringe upon a woman’s right of autonomy and to privacy to personal reproductive choices. The court also ordered that first trimester abortions are legal in all states, providing the ability for the state to place more restrictions on the second trimester abortions and allowing states to prohibit third trimester abortions. In the state of California where I reside, the governor and the state assembly and state senate are pro-choice. The California Health and Safety Code enacted legislation in 2002, “The state shall not deny or interfere with a woman's fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose and obtain an abortion.” The State Pharmacy Board and the Medical Board of California in consultation with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the California Pharmacist Association, and other associations approved the use of emergency contraceptives or the “morning after pill” soon after. The state of California also declared rights of the healthcare provider to refuse to comply with an abortion if it is against there own moral and ethical beliefs. I am pro-women’s choice in regards to abortion in the case of rape or molestation. I support the minor’s rights to an abortion, without the consent of a parent. I also support ending life in the event where there is congenital life abnormality such as anencephaly (no brain) or hypoplastic lung syndrome (under developed and without circulation) that is non-compatible with life. Though, as a health care provider I would not participate or support an abortion in the second or third trimester abortion due to unwanted fetuses as a form of birth control. There are public programs for unwanted babies as Safe Surrender and Adoption. Another bioethical issue in the Quality of Life is Organ Transplantation. Cameron, A., 2012, John Hopkins University wrote, “More than 114,000 people...