Health News of Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Biomedical Laboratory Scientists have been urged to seek legal backing to empower them to disclose diseases they test to patients.
Professor Raymond Osei of the Department of Philosophy and Classics of the University of Cape Coast, said without legal backing, it would be wrong for laboratory assistants to reveal for instance whether voluntary blood donors have HIV or AIDS.
Prof Osei gave the advice when he delivered a lecture on “Ethics” in Takoradi to mark the International Biometrick Laboratory Scientists Day, which fell on Monday.
The day was organised by the Ghana Association of Biomedical Laboratory Scientists.
Prof Osei noted that in line with ethics, Laboratory Scientists must treat patients with dignity by exhibiting truthfulness and honesty by coming out with accurate results of their tests.
He said any lapses on their part have the tendency to affect the health of patients, as doctors rely on laboratory reports to give treatment.
In order to save lives of patients, Laboratory Scientists must be honest not to test patients if they do not have the adequate resources just for the sake of the value of money.
“If you do not have the resources don’t try because you are dealing with human lives,” adding that their objective is to promote the well being of patients.
“Human welfare takes priority over profit, human values should override other values.”
Mr Prince Sokode Amuzu, President of Ghana Biomedical Laboratory Scientists underscored the need for medical laboratory suppliers to be registered.
He expressed worry that laboratory Scientists operate under logistical constraints, which place them in a dilemma and compel them to attempt to economise consumables.
These include the re-use of medical test tubes, running tests on un-calibrated equipment, running laboratory tests without controls among other challenges.
He noted that the absence of medical laboratory personnel and management and procurement teams contribute to poor funding leading to poor quality health care.
Mr Patrick Asante-Kumah, Regional Chairman of the association, noted that until concrete and pragmatic steps are taken to address the myriad of problems that confront the practice of medical laboratory in the country, the quest to see a well-functioning medical laboratory services may continue to elude Ghanaians.
Nana Kobina Nketsia, Omanhene of Essikado, noted that non-practice of professional ethics contribute to the hindrance of progress and therefore, called on professionals to respect and act according to ethics.