Ethical Issues in Tuberculosis Care and Control

Topic: Pulmonology
Words: 678 Pages: 2

The World Health Organization has failed to reduce tuberculosis cases as per the target rate (Mahmud et al., 2020). It reports that the failure to decrease the tuberculosis rate is associated with resource scarcity, instability, and generalized human immunodeficiency conditions. Ethical issues at times raise a conflict of interest between treatment options and patient desires in tuberculosis care and control. Those affected by these ethical issues are the patients, care providers, and third parties such as relatives and the public (Mahmud et al., 2020). In society, the vulnerable groups such as children, prisoners, migrants and marginalized communities suffer most. Ethical principles affect healthcare and cause problems that require resolutions that address them and provide a long-term global prognosis.

In the effort to uphold morals and human rights, major ethical questions have arisen. Tests and treatment provided to patients are done without them giving explicit and informed consent. To solve the issue, anyone subjected to TB testing and management should be fully informed on what is being done. The patients are to be told of available alternatives from which they can choose.

Though health care providers are mandated to provide the best care to the patients, their protection is a matter of concern. Tuberculosis is transmissible and this pauses infection risks for care workers who, despite the risks, are obligated to give treatment. The available resources are too scarce to serve the vast population. The ethical aspect in resources management is whether diagnose patients in the absence of treatment resources.

Tuberculosis treatment involves patient isolation to curb the disease’s spread. While ethics declares that patient decisions are paramount, some treatment regimes, contradict it. Patients tend to resist isolation because of the fear of being lonely. However, the patient will often be taken into involuntary isolation, thereby violating his or her autonomy (Stoeklé et al., 2018. Patients at times due various reasons such as misinformation and cultural beliefs refuse medication, causing a delay in combating the disease.

Disclosing patient information to a third party is a violation of patient rights. However, tuberculosis is transmissible, and those who had been in contact with the patient are at the risk of contracting it. For the safety, the patient’s condition will have to be shared in some form (Stoeklé et al., 2018). Researchers may discover information that is of great urgency to the public, but they are obligated to follow the long procedure of sharing it. The standard research technique requires the obtained results be peer-reviewed before publication.

Ethical issues cause major problems in managing global health. Therefore, they should be addressed to provide a conducive environment for better care. Health care providers should be provided with more skills and improved technology to help in research. Care workers should also amass experience in their scope of practice. Procedure improvements will enable the care provider to offer efficient services while protecting themselves from the risk of contracting diseases. For care givers who are at higher risks of contracting TB such as HIV infected ones, they should be exempted from work.

Medical stakeholders should ensure that adequate resources are available to all facilities and guarantee that isolation centers adhere to high standards. In cases of patients refusing isolation, the client should be counselled and explained to why they are being isolated, however he or she should not be compelled to submit. If a diagnosis is made without the required resources, the care giver should schedule for an appropriate time when the treatment is available. Research on tuberculosis ought to be conducted in adherence to the biomedical research guidelines to improve findings.

Conceptualizing ethical issues is of paramount importance in providing a long-lasting solution. Providing an enabling environment to all groups in the medical profession and society will aid in equity and justice in health provision and sharing resources (Mahmud et al., 2020). There should be ongoing education programs such as conferences to create awareness of the global population on the emerging trends in tuberculosis and health. Continued intensive research and innovations should be conducted to provide new strategies to help solve the prevailing ethical problems.


Mahmud, A., Rahim, A. A., & Zaidi, N. A. A. (2020). Primary health care as a pillar of the end-tb strategy: a scoping review. International Journal of Public Health and Clinical Sciences, 7(5), 13-27. Web.

Stoeklé, H. C., Mamzer-Bruneel, M. F., Frouart, C. H., Le Tourneau, C., Laurent-Puig, P., Vogt, G., & Hervé, C. (2018). Molecular tumor boards: Ethical issues in the new era of data medicine. Science and Engineering Ethics, 24(1), 307-322. Web.

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