1st Edition

Stakeholders and Ethics in Healthcare Ethical Accountability for Organizations

By Lisa A. Martinelli Copyright 2021
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This ground-breaking book uses organizational ethics and stakeholder theory to explore the ethical accountability of leadership in healthcare organizations to their distinct vulnerable stakeholder communities.

    The book begins with a discussion of the moral agency of healthcare organizations and introduces stakeholder theory. It then looks at key ethical challenges in relation to the confidentiality and privacy of healthcare data, before turning to child health and interventions around issues such as obesity, maltreatment, and parenting. The book ends by focusing on ethics of care in relation to older people and people with disabilities.

    An insightful contribution to thinking about ethics for contemporary healthcare management and leadership, this interdisciplinary book is of interest to readers with a background in healthcare, business and management, law, bioethics, and theology.

    1.Introduction: What Matters Most.  2.Organizational Moral Agency.  3.Ethical Challenges of Maintaining Stakeholder Confidentiality and Privacy.  4.Community Stakeholders in Healthcare: Pediatric Populations.  5.Community Stakeholders in Healthcare: Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities.  6.Conclusion: The Essence of Care


    Lisa A. Martinelli, PhD, JD, MA is a bioethicist, educator, and attorney. With more than two decades of experience as a healthcare executive, she is currently the president of Lead with Ethics, LLC focusing on organizational and clinical ethics, data ethics, and decision support. She is a vigorous advocate for persons with disabilities, particularly children with special needs, and dedicates much of her time to creating and advancing social programs to enhance the quality of their lives.

    One cannot work in the modern healthcare space and not be confronted with ethical issues and situations, regardless of your clinical role. However, as the demands of modern healthcare have grown regarding patient access, clinician productivity and the explosion of digital technology for both the acquisition and storage of clinical data, recognizing and addressing these ethical issues and situations is more challenging than ever before. And moreover, there is less available time, both real and perceived by clinicians, to really think through these scenarios - that will continue to confront them through their coming years of practice. This book helps to address and frame the major ethical dilemmas and situations that both individuals and healthcare organizations now face in the 21st century. The reader is guided through the major topics and subtopics of the most relevant ethical considerations with concrete and relatable examples. One cannot help but be impressed with the depth and breadth of the book as well as Lisa’s ability to impart the information in ways I’ve not seen it presented before. This is a wonderful resource for clinicians of all specialties at any stage in their career – an enlightening read to be sure. 

    Brian M. Parker, M.D., Chief Quality & Learning Officer, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    "Traditional Ethic’s discussions tend to be esoteric in nature. The reality for those of us who are responsible and accountable for organizations is that we understand that virtually all decisions lay in the gray. Very rarely do we find ourselves with the luxury of deciding between clear black and white options thus the importance of a reality based view on Organizational Ethics is critically important. The author’s opening example of a primary care physician talking to her mother in context of what is important to her sets the stage for a well thought-out examination of how human or stakeholder decision making must be influenced by life. These are not trivial discussions in health care and they have only been amplified by the pandemic and the need for disparate stakeholders to come together in service of humanity."

    David Holmberg (President and CEO of Highmark Health, one of the largest integrated healthcare systems in the United States).


    There has been a longstanding need for a new approach to organizational ethics in healthcare that goes beyond the typical focus on an institution’s mission, vision, and values. This book provides such a pivotal evolution by explaining the ethical accountability of organizational leadership to stakeholder communities in healthcare. The extraordinarily insightful discussion of moral agency is based on decades of the author’s experience in very large health corporations. The argument adopts in an imaginative manner the well-tested approach of stakeholder theory. And, highlighting the need for empathetic engagement, an ethics of care model perceptively emphasizes the interconnectedness and dignity of human relationships. Also, ethical considerations about confidentiality and privacy of stakeholder groups are incisive and astute, especially given the increasing impact of big data in healthcare. Furthermore, the illuminating analysis of distinct stakeholder communities shrewdly selects critically vulnerable populations: pediatrics, older adults, and persons with disabilities. The masterly account is intellectually refreshing and profoundly challenging.

    Gerard Magill, (Vernon F. Gallagher Chair & Professor at the Center for Global Health Ethics, Duquesne Universit)