Breastfeeding as a Contemporary Issue in Healthcare

Introduction

The selected ethical case revolves around the issue of infant formula and the rights or choices of women. The authors of the article, “Do Infant Formula Giveaways Undermine or Support Women’s Choices?” indicate that policies banning the use of baby formula should be informed by the costs and economic issues associated with breastfeeding. The paper below gives a detailed analysis of this ethical issue.

Issue Identification and Position

The selected issue is the banning of infant formula in medical facilities in an attempt to encourage mothers to breastfeed their children. The AMA case study reveals that the decision makes it impossible for women who are unable to afford infant formula to support their children (Morain & Barnhill, 2018). Personally, I believe that the decision to ban formula giveaways is unethical and ignores women’s rights.

Impacts on My Roles as a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) should use their competencies to meet their patients’ needs. Those working in a family setting will encounter numerous challenges when supporting individuals who do not have access to baby formula (Farmer & Lundy, 2017). The situation will be worse for those who are troubled financially. I will, therefore, provide diverse ideas to encourage more mothers to breastfeed. I will also be required to teach and guide them to use infant formula efficiently. It will be necessary to propose better policies that challenge the malpractices embraced in different hospitals.

Patient autonomy is something protected under the law. Mothers should be free to make their choices regarding breastfeeding and the use of infant formula. From an ethical perspective, clinicians and physicians have a role to guide mothers about the importance and dangers of the two methods. It is also unethical for health institutions to ban infant formula since it can be a major requirement for mothers. Babies who refuse to breastfeed will have their rights ignored (Morain & Barnhill, 2018). The professional argument is that health practitioners should consider the principles of nonmaleficence, justice, and autonomy. They should support all their patients to achieve their health goals.

Strategies and Solutions

Physicians, policymakers, and NPs can consider several initiatives to address the selected ethical issue. The first one is for all stakeholders to focus on the idea of autonomy. This principle will ensure that hospitals and physicians allow mothers to receive infant formula. The second approach is to educate more women about this product, its benefits, and disadvantages. They should also be informed about the unique advantages of breastfeeding. Another solution is the introduction of superior policies to address the needs of all parents from poor backgrounds (Farmer & Lundy, 2017). This is the case since women who cannot afford baby formula will benefit significantly. The government should support underprivileged parents using evidence-based policies.

Emerging Ethical Issues

The above issue raises various ethical concerns that caregivers should take seriously. The first one is whether infant formula can become a substitute for breastfeeding. The second one is if mothers should be empowered to decide whether to breastfeed or not (Morain & Barnhill, 2018). NPS should be aware of such issues in an attempt to provide the right support to their patients and eventually deliver positive health outcomes.

Conclusion

The above analysis has revealed that health organizations have a role to support all individuals mothering newborns in order to make informed decisions and choices regarding the use baby formula. Health leaders should also consider the needs of those who lack adequate financial resources. The ultimate objective should, therefore, be to meet all babies’ needs.

References

Farmer, L. J., & Lundy, A. (2017). Informed consent: Ethical and legal considerations for advanced practice nurses. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 13(2), 124-130. Web.

Morain, S., & Barnhill, A. (2018). Do infant formula giveaways undermine or support women’s choices? AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(10), e924-e931. Web.