A key global ethical issue that canbe related to health care is justice. This is because good health care isimportant to all people but access to good health is still unavailable to manyparts of the world (World Health Organization WHO, n.d.). Low-income countriesare troubled with limited resources, government corruption, in addition tosocial determinant issues such as malnutrition, poverty, poor education, unsafeliving conditions, and lack of access to health providers. Currently, theremany parts of the world that still fail to meet the most basic needs (food,water, shelter); therefore, the challenge in global health ethics is that thereis a call to action for wealthier countries to help these countries in order topromote global justice in health equality (WHO, n.d.
). According to WHO (n.d.), one of theprimary contributors to access to healthcare resources is “brain drain”. Thereason is that health professionals in low-income countries are recruited intoemployment in higher-income countries. This can lead to a few ethical dilemmasincluding whether it is ethical to recruit healthcare workers versus incentivesthat may be used by the lower income countries to keep them from leaving.
Theethical dilemma can also cause personal conflict upon the providers. That is,they have a moral dilemma to either stay to help the population who truly needit or leave to an area where they actually want to live in. Cultural relativity is anotherethical issue in global health (WHO, n.d.).
The dilemma arises due to the factthat different people have different cultural beliefs and values based on thelocation they live in. This can make it difficult to establish a universalethical standard since it is hard to impose one’s beliefs on another person. Anexample mentioned was the practice of female genital mutilation. This is a culturally influenced practice inseveral countries that are still being carried out. The argument in this caseis that women and children are not being treated fairly and/or at risk of beingharmed. However, if this practice is condemned, then some people may argue thathuman rights are being violated since there is an imposition on anothergroup/culture’s beliefs.
This is one of the topics that may never be trulyaddressed. International research is also aglobal health ethical dilemma since it involves research experiments conductedon populations in lower-income countries. The populations selected may havetrouble understanding the circumstances of the research study due to languagebarrier, which can be problematic for informed consent. In addition, it can bedifficult to establish standards of care for participants or communities at theend of the research trials. For example, how can the participants follow upwith their concerns (health changes, additional questions) if the researchersleave the country after the experiment? Some of these topics are still being debated. On a related note, environmentalethics should also be a primary global concern. The world’s population is expected to growbetween 9 to 10 billion people by the year 2050.
This dramatic increase inpopulation growth can impact the planet significantly. One of the reasons is that technologyadvancement will help create more technical tools to help industries dig deeperinto the soil/ocean, cut faster into trees and create more powerful cars,trucks and planes to help people travel faster. This may come with a pricesince it will create dramatic environmental issues such as global climatechange, loss of biodiversity, forest, wetlands, coastal ocean quality anddepletion of the world’s ecological and freshwater systems (Brown, n.d.). From this perspective, the human race has anethical obligation to the planet to help sustain and maintain its remaininglimited resources.