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HLSC 220 Moral Obligation of Healthcare Workers to Care for Covid-19 Assessment 1 Answer


ASSIGNMENT 1 Argumentative Essay  

Weighting: 50%

Length and/or format: 1500 words (+/- 10%)

Purpose: The purpose of this assessment is for students to demonstrate the capacity to develop an ethical argument/s based on the four ethical principles: autonomy, justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence. Students will use their allocated topic to develop a sound ethical argumentative opinion piece.

Assignment details: During the 1st week of lectures your tutor will allocate a topic for discussion from the prescribed four options. Using the allocated topic given to you construct an argumentative essay.

Learning outcomes assessed: 1 & 2

Assessment criteria: Marking will be undertaken using a rubric (see Appendix 1 in your unit outline). Please include the word count of your assignment on the front page of your assignment or in a header. Please note that in-text citations are included in the word count whilst the reference list is not included in the word count. Words that are more than 10% over the word count will not be considered Please see further information in the section titled ‘Word Count’ in your unit outline.


  1. Healthcare workers have a moral obligation to care for COVID19 patients and cannot object to caring for these patients.
  2. Organ retrieval should be performed on all deceased persons despite objections from loved ones.
  3. Expectant mothers who misuse alcohol and/or illicit drugs should be subject to mandatory reporting requirements for child abuse.
  4. Governments should have the authority to stop citizens from participating in community activities when they refuse immunizations.

Points to consider

Ethical arguments are comprehensively informed by credible, well-chosen academic literature, &/or professional codes & standards. Evidence of sophisticated level of critical thinking, reasoning, defence & evaluation. Ethical arguments (use of argument and/or counter arguments) are cogent & always well defended. The argument is organised in an exemplary manner: repetitiveness is avoided, the argument flows succinctly, ending with a strong, comprehensive, & rational conclusion.

In addition to the rubric the content below are some guidelines for student consideration in writing their argumentative essay. This is not an exhaustive list, but simply points for consideration.

The bare minimum is that you should let the reader know the topic and introduce your stance on the issue for example - “ this essay will address the options health care workers ( HCW) have in confronting issues of violence against them and will show and reason why HCW ought to be able to refuse care”.

Remember to clarify your understanding of the topic and key terms or concepts used – do not assume the reader knows – the examiner wants to know that you know.

A good argumentative essay considers the counter arguments against the position taken and seeks to defend them with reasoning and logic and always with reference to the literature. Failure to do so cannot be considered an argument – it is a one-sided account and unchallenged opinion even if well sourced and referenced.

The essay must be ethically sound and constructed –it ought to provide a rich account of ethical thought and justification based on sound ethical theories and priniciplism. Much of this is available to you in the modules and Leganto reading list in the same tile. Where necessary you might choose to reinforce arguments with professional codes, and legal considerations.

Communicating based on an “emotional account” can detract from the essay as the write is communicating on a personal stake on the topic and thus is invested in that emotion. It is better to give example and support the example with the literature in mind. However, you can obviously draw the reader to your argument by providing strong ethical, conventional, and contemporary arguments that support your stance.

As always in any essay the following points ought to be respected:

  • paragraph construction
  • Flow of argument
  • Avoiding repetitive statements
  • Considering the literature and carefully providing sources used
  • Consider using the literature to point of redundancy – i.e. you read the same view in other sources
  • A good argument is well supported with the literature and this ought to be provided from multiple sources
  • There is no required number of reference sources. The lower the volume of evidence will rarely make for a salient essay
  • You should summarise your stance and argument in the conclusion
  • Do not introduce new material in this section (Conclusion)
  • Remember the requirements for presentation in terms of spacing, font size and structure available to you from ACU academic skills unit
  • If you do use clinical examples, they ought to be reflective of your ethical argument
  • Finally it is required that you write in the 3rd person



Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, it is the health workers who are serving the society to come out of this pandemic every day the death toll is rising and a new mass number of people getting affected putting curves on people's forehead. The more people are getting affected, and the more people are being cautioned and frightened. Sometimes they are panicking. Despite the hard work and dedication of the physicians and health workers, people are dying. The health workers themselves are also getting affected. This discussion is based on the moral obligation of the healthcare workers to care for Covid-19 patients, and this also discusses the mental conflicts and dilemmas they are facing. They are saving lives. On the other side allegations against them for not caring are also being noticed. The medical code of ethics suggests that a health worker must take care of patients at critical conditions irrespective of the type and severity of the infection (Adams & Walls, 2020). The allegations are mainly based on the ill-treatments and rejection of patient care. They are putting themselves in the dilemma of pursuing medical ethics and facing life risk. The proper healthcare management system will only help to fight against this pandemic. So the more number of physicians and health workers stay safe, the better healthcare services we get (Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with Covid-19 — Preliminary Report", 2020).


When we talk of medical intervention and treatment, there are ethical clauses involved with the paradigm and the pedagogical procedures. The nurses and the health care staff who are in the first line of defence against the coronavirus have their Hippocrates clauses and ethics to be obligatory to the treatment of any highly infectious diseases. According to Watson's law of care, all the health staff should assist and be empathetic to the patients and should treat them with the best hands-on care. They should put their patients before anything and should care for them with all the precautionary clothing on. The health staff should be provided with PPEs, gloves, and all the necessary safety guidelines to be taken in care. The patients should not be ill-treated or left with unaided service due to health care's ignorance or avoidance. The ethical obligation should be one of the health care staff's fundamental duties. No matter what the patients with COVID 19 cannot be left untreated as it may cause the life of the patient (Wang et al., 2020).

The nurses should be abided by their principles and should guide the patients so that the patients should receive personhood care and attention to detailed manner and information. The health care stages have certain classes to their duty and responsibility. They should always remain in service to the patients when they are in dire needs. The patients should not be left unnoticed and should not be neglected if they have certain kinds of communicable diseases. The surface and all the precautionary measures are to be taken to cure for the patients. The morality towards human service should be acknowledged by all the health care units and their management. The ethical obligation is a justified sense of responsibility and duty in a situation which is full of crisis and requires immediate interventions. The question of all the patients and the nurses is essential. So there should be preventive and restrictive regulations in the treatment. But during this period of medical crisis, the nurses, doctors, and all other medical staff should fulfil their duty and alliance towards the patients so that the number of inclination of disease prognosis is minimized. These systems and support from the medical team help in the growth and well-being of patients. The patients can feel comfortable and will have easy access to healthy living. The government and all the bureaucrats should help the health care staff with all the necessary information and safety precautions related to their lives. The right to live and life should be celebrated together, but there should be proper care and safety maintained from both ends. There are many theories by the most significant nurses and doctors to show how health care professionals should react to such a situational crisis during pandemics. Even during the great pandemics in Europe in the Medieval age and 18th century the doctors and health care practitioners were dressed in different gears and uniforms and stood to find against the disease and provided patient care with greater alleviation of patient relief (Reeves et al., 2020). 

The COVID-19 pandemic took many lives and has raised many questions. The questions arise regarding the ethics of the health workers, the responsibility of them and their security and risks. Sometimes the health workers face dilemmas, the dilemma between ethics and life risk. We have seen that many doctors and nurses have lost their lives during their duty. They have been declared as the COVID warrior. Well, the honours never suffice the loss of life. In the past few years, like in 2003, 10% of the health workers lost their lives during an epidemic. On an average of 49.6 years of aged, ten nurses have died so far. Almost 15 other workers have died among other health workers.

Similarly, in 2014, during the Ebola outbreak, many physicians and health workers lost their lives in West Africa. Most recently, an observation of 138 patients admitted in a hospital of Wuhan, and China revealed that 30% of them are associated with health services. This depicts how the saviours of society are losing their lives. On 28th of April, 2020 American Medical Association released guidance related to pandemic COVID-19. The AMA (American Medical Association) tracks the latest developments of this coronavirus outbreak. The repetitive complaints from the doctors (Liu et al., 2020) about the lack of equipment makes the challenge more challenging. According to the AMA code of ethics, a physician or health worker must take care of the patients in critical condition but losing lives in mass might contradict it. It is necessary to understand that the nurses or doctors who are involved in helping the novel coronavirus patient their life is also at stake and when they are getting affected due to this virus family members of their life are also at stake (Murthy et al., 2020).

Doctors and the nurses are the front liners. They are battling with the virus every day. In a report, it found that almost five thousand doctors suffered and claimed more than a hundred lives. On the other hand, one of the main problems is the lack of equipment for doctors. Zimbabwean doctors went for a strike, and those UK medics warned that and said lack of equipment puts the doctor or nurses lives at risk. And observing the nature of the infection, when a physician or nurse gets affected, the lives of his or her family members and relatives are also being put at stake(Journal of Medical Ethics | A leading journal by BMJ, 2020).


COVID 19 is a dangerous and highly infectious disease in this century. This is an alarming situation for the health ministry and is one of the greatest challenges the world is facing after World War 2. This is not only a health crisis now, and it has crossed beyond that it is now a socio-economic crisis. This respiratory illness can't be recovered without special treatment. The best way to prevent this virus is well informed. We need to know the details of this virus. In this pandemic situation doctors, nurses and all the health staff are the best friends for us who are helping us daily and talking about medical intervention and the involvement directly attached to the health ministry. Till now, doctors and the nurses are complaining about the proper PPEs (Rajendran et al., 2020), gloves, sanitizers etc. which the government should immediately take the initiative and fulfil that demand. It is also essential to take care that the threat to the health workers as well as the doctors and nurses are more susceptible as they are the front liners and they are in touch with the patients directly. We are expecting a flexible, mutual, adjustable policy which will play a significant role to get out of this pandemic as soon as possible. We should be grateful to our doctors and all other health worker staff who are willingly coming forward and helping us enormously for the COVID-19 patient even at the lack of Professional protective equipment kit. In this time we can at least expect our leaders to work efficiently. There should be preventive and restrictive regulation in the treatment to make a balanced picture of the present scenario (Xia et al., 2020)

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