Developing a Health Advocacy Campaign: Ethical Dilemma in Advocacy for Type-2 Diabetes

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1769 Words
Date:  2022-08-23


Chronic health conditions such as type-2 diabetes normally draw great levels of controversy. Debating such matters is quite productive. The presence of stakes that include interests from corporate bodies, the government, and professional groups, lead to social, political, ethical, legislative, and economic stalemates. The powerful bodies normally use their influence to thwart any form of concensus, enforce dominant viewpoint, and discourage opposition. The research on such important health issues normally takes various forms that include but not limited to group politics, positivist, social structure, and the constructivist approach. The advocates may choose any of the identified approaches to campaign for the enactment of certain policies. Any approach to health controversies normally leads to ethical dilemmas, meaning that they require special types of skills and a degree of professionalism to actualize based on the analysis of the costs and benefits. Various ethical dilemmas face advocacy for type-2 diabetes, meaning that the campaigners should employ a comprehensive approach that takes into consideration the relevant ethical, legal, social, and political aspects.

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Ethical Dilemmas during the Advocacy Campaign

Caring for patients with chronic conditions such as type-2 diabetes poses serious ethical dilemmas for the health care professionals, especially nurses who are in constant contact with the patients on a daily basis. Advocates on matters of public health face various dilemmas when there is tactical debating on matters that involve a combination of cost and benefits. The key dilemmas for the campaigners include acknowledgement of their position of weaknesses, research advocacy to acknowledge research by the opponents, whether to determine and subsequently acknowledge vested interests on their side, debating with the opponents, launching attacks on individuals on the opposition side, and finally criticism of extreme behavior of the supports of the idea (Tay, Luscombe-Marsh, Thompson, Noakes, Buckley, Wittert & Brinkworth, 2015). Addressing the dilemmas requires greater degree of attention since decisions or the choices made have the propensity of affecting the image of the professionals and the success of the policy initiatives. The advocates ought to select options that are advantageous in the short-term to ensure long-term success.

The first dilemma is whether to acknowledge shortcomings. Every position tends to have both the weak and strong points. For example, in this particular advocacy, the strong point is that dietary management is essential for the prevention of type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, the weak point is that proper dietary management is quite expensive and maybe out of reach of many individuals, particularly the low-income earners. The most common approach in the campaigning process is to emphasize the strong points while ignoring the weak ones (Bauer et al., 2013). The study established that most of the people between 18 to 64 years portrayed, lacked sufficient diet management mechanisms as a way of preventing type-2 diabetes. For that matter, the health problem concerning type-2 diabetes, and the financial challenges concerning the acquisition of type-2 diabetes drugs can be solved adhering to the proper diet schedule. The health policy of enhancing the appropriate health of patients with type-2 diabetes is not well defined. Healthcare centers should be providing templates concerning diet management for patients with type-2 diabetes. Dietary components of foods should be outlined to the affected population, as a way of preventing further increase in the community of people with type-2 diabetes. The campaign should acknowledge that the affected population portrays that most people dislike health tips, and that public health officials should avail a decent audio-based tutorials concerning dietary terms and the required diet management plan. In addition, public health officials should enhance self-awareness plan.

The second dilemma is whether to advocate for more research. In most cases, the critics of the epistemological position (the position that has the support of the overwhelming majority) tend to claim that research is not comprehensive or conclusive. Such a group tends to point to various, notable weaknesses in the study or to the prevailing studies and will almost certainly insist on further research (Tay et al., 2015). For example, they may challenge the fact that that many people experienced difficulties in determining and knowing if food has health implications. The aspect and medical approach of adhering to the insulin-based treatment that is prescribed to the patients already suffering from the problem should be emphasized to limit the number of the individuals suffering from adverse effects of neglecting insulin-based treatment (Bauer et al., 2013). In such a situation, the majority may oppose the fact that since most people dislike health tips, and they fail to follow any single instruction that is outlined by public health officials concerning proper diet, the best approach is to create a self-awareness plan. Unfair dismissal of studies as anecdotal may cause serious advocacy conundrum. Rejecting the possibility for additional research provides the critics with grounds for additional complaint. The best method to deal with such critics is to invite a number of them to participate in the research or the monitoring of research protocols. Notably, commissioning further research to address the claims by the critics would present additional hurdles or opposition from the funding bodies or the employers who might be unreceptive.

Another dilemma is whether to acknowledge vested interests. Powerful groups who have deep stakes in the advocated measures usually support public health campaigners. The common practice is normally to discredit the role of the vested interests on the other side that at times include but not limited to government departments, corporations, professional, and religious groups. In the advocacy for dietary measures as the ultimate method to manage type-2 diabetes, pharmaceuticals may sponsor counter campaigns since such would interfere with the sales of insulin-containing drugs, which means that such campaigns would interfere with their level of profitability. Profit or the counter policies will definitely provide a source for biasness that will impede the advocacy campaigns. Pharmaceutical companies that produce the insulin containing drugs may exert corporate influence, for example through sponsoring research, which will lead to unnecessary adoption of drugs instead of adherence to the proposed diet plan to manage the condition. Pharmaceutical industry funding of research, journals, and conferences tend to create a conflict of interest for policy makers and scientific researchers.

The other ethical dilemma arises during the debating phase of the advocacy. The challengers to the dominant position often elicit public debates. The most dominant position in the debate on the prevention or the management of type-2 diabetes is that the use of insulin is quite effective. Therefore, it means that many people will reject the idea of using dietary management as a way of controlling diabetic infections. It is imperative to use engage on debates especially on various platforms such as televisions, radio, blogs, and newspapers to counter critics and to present one's position. The debate is essential in painting the critics' position as weak, flawed, or probably unethical. On the other hand, the issue of the debate often runs into opposition because it accords the critics the opportunity to regain credibility, meaning that it shows that the opposition viewpoint as serious enough to guarantee considerations. Leading scientists have the propensity of refusing the debates, thereby marginalizing the representative position. The refusal to debate naturally serves to denigrate and marginalize critics, and it seems a bit arrogant. The pragmatic solution to the debating dilemma is to engage critics when necessary, meaning that only in situations when declining to debate poses serious liability issues.

The final dilemma in the advocacy is how to deal with direct attacks form the opponents of the ideology. As mentioned earlier, the study advocates for dietary management as the main methods of managing, preventing, and managing the prevalence of type-2 diabetes (Bright & Sakurada, 2016). The dimensions for attack take different forms that include but not limited to spreading rumors, abusive comments, threats, false claims, defamation suits, seeking deregistration, dismissals, physical assaults, police cases, and attempts to block or actually blocking research funding. A critical look at the dimensions proves that they have a significant bearing on the advocacy making it hard to ignore them. Such makes it hard for the opponents to campaign, as some may be sacred by the use of derogative language. The justification of the attacks is often the fact that the opponents threaten to derail valuable public health efforts, which essentially lead to the loss of life. It is worth noting that campaigns are never about the ethical justification of issues (Karnik & Kanekar, 2014). The most important feat is how effective they resonate with the recipients or the audience. The main advantage of opposition is the fact that it often leads to the perception of illegitimacy. Additionally, it may provoke the opponents to invest great efforts in their endeavor. The main opposition in this regard is the pharmaceuticals who may not like the idea of replacing their drugs with diet since the volumes of their sales may drop in the process.

Ethical Considerations and Relevant Lobbying Laws

Existing regulations and policies regarding type-2 diabetes are sufficient. The prevalence of type-2 diabetes is due to lack of knowledge concerning dietary terms for proper and good health. Additionally, most of the people within the affected population outlined that the physical practices towards a healthy approach for minimizing developing type 2 diabetes should be revised and communicated. In this regard, the first strategy is education that serves to protect the rights and then remedies the people affected by type-2 diabetes. The professionals should create and subsequently maintain position statements (Bright & Sakurada, 2016). They must follow authoritative clinical practice guidelines, recommendations, and standards on the dietary requirements and the treatment for diabetes. The association should then publish (in professional journals) the guidelines on the dietary requirements, the management, and development on diabetes research for easy access by the public.

Regulations on food directly or indirectly affect the dietary choices of the citizens, the variety, and the quality of the food available in the market for people to consume. Moreover, the policies affect the foods available on the shelf, the information about the product available to the consumers, the prices charged at the counter, and the level of consumer confidence. For example, food-labeling regulations allow the identification of the food as natural, dolphin-safe, not irradiated, kosher, organic, or made in a particular place. People will consume the products depending on their truthfulness or misleading nature. Such will definitely allow the identification of the foods that have low sugar content and permit their subsequent their purchase. If the information therein were misleading, then it would work to the contrary for people with type-2 diabetes that needs to consume products low in fats and sugars.

Most of the policies tend to supplement the dietary war on type-2 diabetes. For example, the World Health Org...

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Developing a Health Advocacy Campaign: Ethical Dilemma in Advocacy for Type-2 Diabetes. (2022, Aug 23). Retrieved from

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