Being ethical in the recommendation of hearing instruments
An interesting recent debate was sparked by an article in the Hearing journal. The article as many of you will know centred on ethics within our profession. It also questioned technology levels of instrumentation and the ethical quandary the author felt was presented by them. It was interesting to see the debate go back and forward across the web.
I think that some really earnest people would wish to give the best technology to every Patient every time. Whilst in an ideal world that may be possible, we need to face reality. The reality is simply that there are costs involved in the provision of hearing instruments. The reality is that we and our families need to eat. Even in the public health service, where care for Patients is enshrined, the best technology is not utilised. Instead they simply use the best technology that can be afforded.
One Single Technology Level
Somebody raised the point that the manufacturers should just make one level of technology. It could then be reasonably priced and fitted to everyone. What if a manufacturer undertook such an audacious scheme. It would simply put its Uber product out of the financial reach of millions of people. Do you think this would be a good thing? How long before the people who called for such a thing would be attacking the manufacturer?
So what can we do:
Ensure we supply the most modern technology available at every level at a fair price.Tweet this
Discuss all the levels of hearing technology available and explain how they fit into their lifestyle.Tweet this
Allow the Patient to make the decision when it comes to their hearing needs.Tweet this
A colleague of mine summed it up for me, it is not for us to decide what level of technology a Patient wants. It is merely up to us to present the options as clearly and as honestly as we can, in order that they can make the best informed decision. It is a speech I never forgot and a creed I have practised by for many years.
In an ideal world, we would give all our Patients top level technology, oh and there would be world peace an end of hunger and poverty would cease to exist. We may strive for these things and not to do so would be morally corrupt. However, we also need to face the reality of the situation, again doing so honestly and fairly does not damage our ethics.