The process of globalization is considered to be one of the most important and influential issues in all spheres of life. Different cultures, societies, and even economies undergo considerable changes within a short period of time. Nowadays people get used to rely on their financial status to have appropriate and in time treatment and do not even want to consider the fact that those people with lower financial income may be in serious need of fast help and medical consultation.
The notion of a global ethics is under a threat because it can be easily misunderstood (Commers, Vanderkerckhover, & Verlinden, 2008); as a result, many discontents, constant briberies, and inappropriate treatment of patients take place. In this paper, the ethical dilemma concerning the idea of bribery in the health care system will be analyzed.
Globalization is one of the processes that have a considerable impact on the development of the health care system and the way of how people are able to get treatment; the spread of an ethical dilemma that has financial backgrounds is evident nowadays, and globalization is defined as one of the main causes of the unfair treatment and imprudent deaths.
Basics of the health care system
The main purpose of healthcare is to treat or prevent different types of illness. The ways of how medical experts are ready to provide patients with necessary services influence considerably human lives, relations, and abilities. One the one hand, globalization is regarded as a successful tool to solve poverty challenges, problems connected with human hunger, and diseases which are hard to diagnose and treat (Pang & Guindon 2004).
On the other hand, there are a number of negative effects of globalization which are evident for the sphere of health. If a person fails to get an appropriate treatment or, in other words, present a necessary bribe, the results may be rather disappointing: a person is not able to perform his/her functions in society and to improve his/her skills in the chosen sphere.
This is why it is very important to evaluate the conditions under which health care services may be provided and the ways of how the process of globalization may influence health care services and possible improvements of human activities. Health care systems work to save human lives, and there is no other thing more important that a life of a person.
Analysis of globalization and its effects on the health care system
The relation between globalization and health care systems is evident and even considered to be rather complex so that a serious analysis is required.
The effects of globalizations vary in their forms: they may be direct “at the level of whole populations, individuals and healthcare delivery systems” and indirect “through the economy and other factors, such as education, sanitation and water supply” (Pang & Guindon, 2004, p. 16). For example, it is necessary to admit that globalization influences the spheres of trade, business, and food; it leads to considerable health risks.
Tobacco companies offer a number of goods for people of different age and different social status. Those people who have money are able to buy good tobacco goods and enjoy their purchases. Poor people who suffer from a kind of tobacco dependency have to buy the goods which are cheaper and of poor quality.
Poor quality of tobacco products worsens a lot human health, and the vast majority of smokers should address hospitals to get proper care. It is stated that “the death tool from tobacco abuse alone will reach 10 million a year over the next two decades. Up to 70% of these deaths, cased by lung cancer… lung diseases… and many other tobacco-related ailments, will occur in developing countries” (Pang & Guindon, 2004, p. 17).
Another impact of globalization on human health is connected to drugs and their fast spreading in society. Many medics are eager to earn more on making drugs, and the possibility to spread them over the whole world (that becomes possible due to the process of globalization) is a good chance to achieve success in the chosen activity. So, globalization is still a terrible process that influences considerably human health and the ways of disease treatment.
Ethical dilemmas caused by the process of globalization in the health care system
There are a number of ethical dilemmas which are connected to health care and globalization. Some of them are based on how people may get treatment; some dilemmas are based on the idea that people with different financial status get different kind of access to medical treatment; and some dilemmas are connected to the fact that different people cannot prevent illnesses in the same ways due to their financial inabilities or some other reasons; and finally, some medical professionals are eager to earn money on making harmful drugs for people without considering the fact that some drugs are too dangerous for human health.
For example, in the United States of America, an ethical dilemma is based on the fact that many young medics try to check their abilities and knowledge and develop some drugs. The process of globalization makes the unity of different cultures possible, so, young experimenters are free to use different sources of information, approaches, and components to develop their activities which are harmful for human health.
In some developing countries (Asian, African, and European countries), the idea of bribery becomes widely spread, and medical treatment depends on a number of financial issues: if it is possible to pay much money for treatment, people can get medical help in time and under the most comfortable conditions.
If incomes are not too high, people have to wait a lot, communicate with different people, and think about the most appropriate ways to get help and prevent disease development. The most crucial ethical dilemma connected with globalization and health care is all about money and its impact on human treatment. Is it still necessary to consider financial status and appreciate it more then human health and human lives? It is hard to give a clear and true answer.
Risks and consequences of the ethical dilemma
Risks of the dilemma under discussion are huge indeed. People put themselves under a threat because of inabilities to define the importance of a human life. Globalization poses a number of risks to global health (Pang &Guindon 2004), and current researches prove that “important improvements for the population at risk” are necessary (Mills & Singh, 2007, para. 16).
The most evident examples of risks are the development of tobacco and alcohol spread all over the world with their consequences of terrible diseases which are not always possible to treat and prevent.
Globalization should promote healthy style of life and abilities to improve living conditions. So, ethical dilemmas connected to health care are usually cause by the process of globalization, and people should take care of their actions and choices. It is necessary to evaluate citizens’ demands and necessities. It is wrong to rely on financial support only but appreciate human life as it is. Governments should follow the ways and methods chosen by local medical organizations and check the effectiveness of their work.
Commers, R., Vanderkerckhover, W. & Verlinden, A. (2008). Ethics in an Era of Globalization. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.
Mills, E.J. & Singh, S. (2007). Health, Human Rights, and the Conduct of Clinical Research within Oppressed Populations. Globalization and Health. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from
Pang, T. & Guindon, G.E. (2004, October). Globalization and Risks to Health. EMBO Report, 5(1), 11-16.