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Health Professional Ethics

Cultural diversity in the United States is rampant, with many people considered limited English proficiency (LEP). A highly diversified culture calls for medical interpretation in the quest of ensuring the provision of quality health care services. Language Access Services (LAS) is a legal requirement in ensuring patients are served in their preferred language. Health professional ethics are often violated when healthcare providers fail to meet the needs of all patients, including language access, especially to LEP patients. Consequently, for successful and effective communication between healthcare providers and patients, trained medical interpreters are required to ensure the information conveyed is accurate and understandable.

In Mrs. Kim and her daughter’s case, Laura illustrates how patients tend to bring in their relatives or friends to interpret healthcare needs. Still, it is ineffective in healthcare provision since these interpreters may not have medical knowledge. As a result, clinicians may diagnose wrongly and administer the wrong treatments, which is risky and harmful to patients. Therefore, an experienced medical interpreter must ensure safe and quality health care services. In Nadira’s case, she is a Muslim, and her religious and cultural beliefs prohibit removing her hijab in front of any man who is not her husband. The male doctor examining her is culturally insensitive and gets frustrated when Nadira refuses to remove her hijab for examination. Consequently, it is ethical for caregivers to respect patients’ cultural and religious beliefs when treating them.

Ethical principles are essential in the health profession to ensure that healthcare providers make good decisions and judgments while providing quality services to patients. The Kim’s scenario presents the code of health justice and equity. Laura introduces the option of involving a medical interpreter for Mrs. Kim and her daughter since they are LEP individuals. By doing so, they are adhering to LAS law and public health codes of ethics. The health justice and equity code ensures that all clients access quality health services equally regardless of their backgrounds (Richardson, 2019). Consequently, every healthcare professional should uphold the set standards and values since their work involves caring for human life.

Different cultures, such as the U.S. (Western) and Korea (Eastern), employ varying techniques in medicine. For instance, Western medicine is evidence-based, meaning all treatments are rational; the U.S. relies on evidence-based medicine or pharmaceutical therapies to diagnose and treat conditions and symptoms. Eastern medicine relies more on natural substances and seeks to treat the person as a whole rather than just their symptoms. Eastern treatment involves diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases holistically, including embracing the spirit, body, and mind. The Eastern uses traditional Asian medicine including acupuncture, tuina (therapeutic massage), tai chi, Eastern dietary and nutrition therapy, and Chinese herbal medicine. According to Santhakumar (2022), most prefer combining Eastern and Western medicine. Regardless of which treatment is viewed as best, a person should always consult a physician since particular supplements may interact differently with the prescribed drugs resulting in unwanted side effects or may necessitate more aggressive treatment.

The quality of healthcare services is a deciding factor in the best healthcare system. According to Expat Health & Safety (2022), South Korea leads in the best healthcare systems due to its well-equipped, quality, efficient, and modern medical facilities and highly competent healthcare professionals. A holistic treatment that cares for a person is the best, but alone, it cannot cater to all ailments.

Therefore, both Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Western models, such as the Beveridge and Bismarck models, are essential to consider depending on the aggressiveness of the disease.

Conclusively, competent and qualified medical interpreters must be linguistically proficient and possess a vast knowledge of medical terminologies. It is risky and unsafe to treat patients if the correct information is not conveyed due to language barrier. Wrong information means wrong diagnosis and treatment. Providing quality healthcare services for LEP patients requires informed and experienced medical interpreters to ensure effective communication between caregivers and patients.


Expat Health & Safety. (2022, November 15). The top 10 healthcare systems in the world 2022. Expatriate Group. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from

Richardson, C. (2019, May 20). Language access: Meeting patient needs while increasing compliance and improving outcomes. Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from,hard%2Dof%2Dhearing%20patients.

Santhakumar, S. (2022, February 23). What to know about Western vs. Eastern Medicine. Medical News Today. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from,rather%20than%20just%20their%20symptoms.&text=The%20practice%20of%20medicine%20has,as%20Eastern%20and%20Western%20medicine.

Using language access services. (n.d.). Think Cultural Health. Retrieved May 2, 2023, from


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