Ethics Case Study Your name HCS/335 October 17, 2011 All medical facilities are responsible for given the best treatment as possible to their patients. This may include having the ability to react the correct way in a determinate situation, always thinking in the patient and the organization’s benefit. In medical field there many precautions that must be taken in order to prevent a real problem, such as malpractice and law suit cases. For this reason is good to apply “think before act” because it all starts having a good base of ethical decision.
A good example of a similar situation is when a doctor’s assistant named Jerry was asked by a regular patient to call in a prescription refill for Valium, an antidepressant medication. Patient explained that he needs it right away because he is leaving to the airport in thirty minutes. He claims to be a close friend of Dr. Williams and that he always gives him a small supply of Valium when he has to fly. Although Jerry has medical training, the problem is that he is not licensed and for this reason he is not qualified to call in any prescriptions.
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The history will be different if he was certified as a medical assistant or an LPN, if this will be the cases it will ok for him to call in for an authorized refill or prescription under the doctor’s supervision. At this point the only thing that is in Jerry’s hand is to check the patient’s chart to see if the medication (in this case Valium) is documented as an active order. If the patient requests a different medication or to make any changes such as dosage or quantity, the prescription or changes will have to be approve and call in by the physician.
If the medication the patient requested was for the control of high blood pressure that the patient critically needs on a daily basis, he will not be authorized to call it in unless is directly advised to by the doctor. What about if the patient presents an adverse reaction while flying? If he decides to call in the prescription for the patient, there are many things that could happen to Jerry. One of the most serious one that will not only affect him, in this case Dr. Williams as Jerry’s employer will be getting a lawsuit.
In cases like when the patient try to obtain what he or she wants and the employee does not make the correct decision, serious law enforcement can fall over the facility. One of them is the doctrine of respondeat superior. Respondeat superior is the law which specify that is something happen to the patient for irresponsibility of an employee, the doctor that is responsible for the employee just as much at as the one who made the mistake and because he is an employee of Dr. Williams, he is not protected under this law (Regan,??2002).
My advice for Jerry would be to tell the patient the nicest and most professional way as possible: Jerry- I am sorry for the inconvenience and for not being able to help you at this time, I wish you called me with a little more notice so you do not have to rush to pharmacy and then to the airport. I will call Dr. Williams right away to inform him about your situation. I will call you back as soon I get a response from him. I think the easiest way to pick the right decision is by thinking in the consequences.
For example, If Jerry decides to call in the prescription for the patient and something happen to him; Jerry will get in serious trouble, he will have to live responsible for a tragedy that he could prevent for the rest of his life, getting fire and thinking how unfair the whole situation was for Dr. Williams only because he decided to make the call. While if he uses my advice the worst thing can happen is that Dr. Williams do not call back to the office before the patient live the state, making the patient upset.
Decision making is an exercise that we all do every day; this does not mean that is easy to do. When we have to pick a good option for a determinate situation we should consider what will be the ethical and moral way to go, this can bring us to the best option as possible available. Some of our choices are practical decisions about what will work best, look prettier, feel softer, taste sweeter, sound clearer or last longer. Those decisions do not necessarily involve right or wrong; they involve efficiency, availability, practicality or preference.
For those choices gather information about them, list the pros and cons for each one, select the best option and there it is – a real decision. (Arizona character education foundation,??). Reference Arizona character education foundation. Making ethical decision. Retrieved from http://www. azcharacteredfoundation. org/ethical. html Regan, J. J. &. W. M. (2002). Medical Malpractice and Respondeat Superior. Retrieved from http://www. medscape. com/viewarticle/433873