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Realizing good care within a context of cross-cultural diversity: An ethical guideline for healthcare organizations in Flanders, Belgium

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  • Denier, Yvonne
  • Gastmans, Chris

Abstract

In our globalizing world, health care professionals and organizations increasingly experience cross-cultural challenges in care relationships, which give rise to ethical questions regarding “the right thing to do” in such situations. For the time being, the international literature lacks examples of elaborated ethical guidelines for cross-cultural healthcare on the organizational level. As such, the ethical responsibility of healthcare organizations in realizing cross-cultural care remains underexposed. This paper aims to fill this gap by offering a case-study that illustrates the bioethical practice on a large-scale organizational level by presenting the ethical guideline developed in the period 2007–2011 by the Ethics Committee of Zorgnet Vlaanderen, a Christian-inspired umbrella organization for over 500 social profit healthcare organizations in Flanders, Belgium. The guideline offers an ethical framework within which fundamental ethical values are being analyzed within the context of cross-cultural care. The case study concludes with implications for healthcare practice on four different levels: (1) the level of the healthcare organization, (2) staff, (3) care receivers, and (4) the level of care supply. The study combines content-based ethics with process-based benchmarks.

Suggested Citation

  • Denier, Yvonne & Gastmans, Chris, 2013. "Realizing good care within a context of cross-cultural diversity: An ethical guideline for healthcare organizations in Flanders, Belgium," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 38-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:38-46
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.03.045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina & Jiménez-Rubio, Dolores, 2009. "A comparison of the health status and health care utilization patterns between foreigners and the national population in Spain: New evidence from the Spanish National Health Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 370-378, August.
    2. Bollini, Paola & Siem, Harald, 1995. "No real progress towards equity: Health of migrants and ethnic minorities on the eve of the year 2000," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 819-828, September.
    3. Dunlop, Sheryl & Coyte, Peter C. & McIsaac, Warren, 2000. "Socio-economic status and the utilisation of physicians' services: results from the Canadian National Population Health Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 123-133, July.
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