Defense Date

9-25-2020

Graduation Date

Winter 12-18-2020

Availability

One-year Embargo

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Health Care Ethics

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Dr. Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Dr. Joris Gielen

Committee Member

Dr. Maureen O'Brien

Keywords

healthcare organizations, moral agency, stakeholders/stakeholder theory, institutional/individual agency, vulnerable populations, disability ethics, the good life, human flourishing, the human condition, human dignity, ethic of care, privacy and confidentiality, data ethics, moral soul, elderly

Abstract

ABSTRACT

THE ETHICAL ACCOUNTABILITY OF ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP TO COMMUNITIES OF STAKEHOLDERS IN HEALTHCARE

By

Lisa A. Martinelli, JD, MA

October 2020

Dissertation supervised by Professor Gerard Magill

While much is written on organizational ethics in healthcare, this dissertation uniquely links organizational ethics and stakeholder theory to the ethical accountability of leadership to their distinct, vulnerable stakeholder communities. It does so by examining the healthcare organization’s moral agency in relation to stakeholder theory and applies those considerations to three major stakeholder categories: confidentiality and privacy of healthcare information, research and attention to specific pediatric populations, and ethics of care concerning the elderly and persons with disabilities.

Comparing the complex and interdependent healthcare delivery system in the U.S. to the anatomy and physiology of the human body, this dissertation demonstrates that maintaining organizational homeostasis depends up ethical accountability of leadership to its constituent stakeholder parts. The argument unfolds in a centrifugal fashion, beginning with an understanding of organizational moral agency as illustrated through the metaphor of soul, individual and institutional agency, and stakeholder theory. Chapter 3 considers the organization’s moral obligation to stakeholder privacy and confidentiality in light of the competing information age.

Returning to specific stakeholder communities, the remaining chapters outline the moral obligation and ethical accountability of healthcare organizations to create opportunities for their most vulnerable normative stakeholders across the life continuum. Specifically, it probes this duty to pediatric communities within several contexts: children with HIV, those who are maltreated, children with special cognitive needs, and those with pediatric obesity. It concludes by expanding ethical accountability to include respect for human dignity and improving the human condition for the elderly and persons with disabilities by applying ethic of care.

Language

English

Available for download on Saturday, December 18, 2021

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