Healthcare ethics is not just about decisions made at the bedside. It is also about decisions made in executive offices and in boardrooms. Business Ethics in Healthcare offers perspectives that can assist healthcare managers achieve the highest ethical standards as they face their roles as healthcare providers, employers, and community service organizations. Weber suggests guidelines and criteria based on the understanding that the healthcare organization is committed to patients’ rights, to careful stewardship of resources, to just working conditions for employees, and to service to the community.
As Weber shows, addressing business ethics issues in a healthcare organization starts with complying with relevant laws and regulations. As a provider of high quality patient care with limited resources, it needs to be able to distinguish between the right way and the wrong way of taking cost into consideration when making decisions about patient care practices. As employer, the organization needs to use good criteria for determining wages and salaries, to know how to make fair decisions about downsizing, and to respond most appropriately to union organizing efforts and employee strikes. As a community service organization, it has particular responsibilities to the community in the way it advertises, how it disposes of medical waste, and the types of mergers it enters into.
Leonard J. Weber is on the faculty of the University of Detroit, Mercy. He has published over 70 articles and is the principal author of the “Case Studies in Ethics” column in Clinical Leadership & Management Review. He serves as an ethics consultant to several healthcare organizations and is a past president of the Medical Ethics Resource Network of Michigan.
Medical Ethics Series—David H. Smith and Robert M. Veatch, editors