For optimum performance, every human must enjoy a holistic well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Therefore, the inability of an individual to enjoy total well-being in any of the three broad categories connote ill-health and, by extension, urgent need to visit your dr office for immediate care.
Availability of healthcare services is indeed a huge benefit. Among many other advantages, it helps preserve human life. However, like every other benefit available to all and sundry, the health sector is subjected to non-arbitrary regulations. The non-arbitrariness of health laws alludes to the systematic process the rules undergo before becoming binding. The method includes deliberations and the expression of concerns by all relevant stakeholders.
In this piece, we will explain to you in granular detail the leading health law concerns in 2022. But first we thought to help you have a quality appreciation of the need for health laws.
Reasons Why Health Laws Exist
Here are some of the compelling reasons why health laws are necessary:
- General regulations: this is a no-brainer. Since health care is a universal issue, there must be strict laws that guarantee universal minimum standards. Therefore, there are common universal health regulations. For instance, every human has a right to health care service, and there shall be no grounds for discrimination.
- Protection of health workers: If you have ever visited primary health care, you would already know that groups of workers function to make the health care sector function. The doctors, scientists, nurses, pharmacists, and even hospital cleaners belong to a category, and their role is important. Thus, laws define the rights, duties, and liabilities of these health workers.
- Prevent abuse of procedure: With the advancement of technology, several health procedures are now possible, which were impossible before. In light of this, health laws that evolve through amendment exist to accommodate new realities and prevent new health breakthroughs that pose more significant harm to humanity than benefit.
- Prevent abuse of trust: There are specific disciplines where trust is sacred, and the health field is one of such as it is with attorneys and their clients; students and their teachers, physicians, whether general practitioner or specialists have a trust-based relationship with their patients.
Therefore, it is reasonable that there are clear laws to regulate the relationship and protect the patients from abuse from doctors who, in this relationship, wield substantial influence over them. An example of such a law is the prohibition of general care physicians from indiscriminate disclosure of patients information gathered during a medical examination.
Top 5 Health Law Concerns for 2022
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, new health concerns surfaced in addition to lingering health law debates. Below, with surgical precision, we discussed the five most pressing global health law concerns as of 2022 anxnr.
1. Privacy of Patients Information
This particular health law concern is partly due to the fact that some laws overlap by nature. Hence, this concern is regarding the application of privacy laws in health.
With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), citizens of states under the European Union now have iron-clad privacy protection rights against third-party access to their personal data.
How does this affect healthcare? A primary care doctor relies on information disclosed by a patient or collected through laboratory tests, diagnoses, scans, and other medical procedures to administer care, which means they have access to a patient’s information.
Now, some of the ongoing concerns in this regard are, to what extent is a primary health physician to conceal the information, especially when the patient’s health may pose a risk to another human? Should doctor-patient confidentiality be absolute? The position of the law is that except when a patient’s condition poses a serious health danger to the public, the confidentiality law should be respected maximally. Notably, this legal position is still a cause for concern in some quarters.
2. Patients Right to Autonomy
This is one of the fiercest health law concerns in 2022. Following the US Supreme Court overturning of Roe V. Wade, a heated legal debate began regarding how individuals can exercise their right to autonomy, particularly pregnant women. It is instructive to note that the right to autonomy transcends abortion right; it is, broadly speaking, patients’ right to decide which medical treatment they want to be subjected to and otherwise.
Another health law concern arising from this right is whether or not citizens can be mandated to be vaccinated in a pandemic in the interest of public health. This was a headline issue in early 2022.
3. Organ Donation
Donating your organs is a highly regulated medical procedure. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that it is a point of concern in health law discourse. The arguments and counterarguments against organ donation relate to verifying if a donor is indeed enticed or not. Whether wait lists should be waived in special circumstances, how to clamp down on illegal organ transplantation centers, and discouraging organ donation harvesting, to mention a few.
4. Termination of employment for disabled persons
Another ongoing campaign in health law is regarding the suitability or otherwise of an employed person who suffers an injury that damages their physical health and body during employment. Such damage could be partial or total blindness, amputation, or paralysis.
In 2022 the leading arguments border on whether such unfortunate damage automatically makes the victim unsuitable or whether they should remain at their job there in the interest of inclusivity and non-discrimination.
5. Toxic Fumes
This is a widespread health law concern before poisonous fumes, harmful gasses, smoke, or dust that is a by-product of chemical transformation activity, can lead to loss of lives or a complicated situation that requires senior health care.
On the other hand, chemical activities cannot be fully eliminated since they are the backbone of the economy. As such, the debates are still ongoing.
Worthy of mention, this health law concern is influencing the implementation of anti-fossil fuel moving vehicles alongside climate change advocacies.
If you frequent your primary care doctor, then you should be concerned about the 2022 health laws discussed in this piece. You have a personal duty to be abreast of laws that border on your continued enjoyment of confidential relationship with your physician, right to bodily autonomy, access to organ donation, freedom from discrimination on health grounds, and protection from toxic fumes.