Medical Ethics Case Study Examples
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2.5 patient care during a strike
In any working environment, the employees are entitled to the optimization of salaries and wages for the work they do. Organizations that employ them have a moral obligation to see to it that these employees are working in a pleasant environment, have equipment that guarantee proper work is done and are paid well for the work they do. In this case, nurses working in any hospital are also guaranteed exactly that. In the event that nurses have stricken, there are two things that should be considered. 1. Are the nurses in a union or not. 2. Their bargaining power in such an event. In case the nurses were on strike, they would still be warranted to having the strike, only that this time, their case would be well handled.
A) However, most institutions do not allow the existence of unions because they bring about cases of striking and employee grievances. The strike would be acceptable since unions primary task is to forward issues faced by workers in the management (Medical ethics today, 2004).
B.) The extent to which the nurses have moral obligations to the current patients is far-reaching as compared to potential patients. It is because, the current patients had already been admitted before the strike begun. As for the possible ones, only in emergency cases, is when the duty of the nurses can apply since the patients have the option of visiting private health centers since they are aware of the continuing strike.
C) The bargaining power of the nurses is huge in such a case, since a state cannot run without the medical and health care department.it is up to the respective government to meet their needs at the acceptable terms
3.2 education and risk
A) Mr. W before going ahead with the procedure has to ensure that the necessary authority needed to be notified aware if not present. This is because, there are chances that the procedure may take a wrong turn and end up being fatal for the patient. In addition, all these processes seem difficult and fatal to the patient if not well performed.
B) There is no need for informing the patient once the authorities are informed and have availed themselves in the procedure room. Their presence means that the patient is safe from harm since in case of a mishap the necessary authorities will take over control.
C) A patient who has gone ahead to receive treatment in a teaching hospital does to necessarily mean that he/she has consented to be exposed to risk (Medical ethics today, 2004). Other factors might be in play that may oblige him/her to go specifically there.
D) Therefore supervision should be guaranteed, if not so, the information should be conveyed to the patient. A patient has the option, the power and the authority of taking for granted risk ratio as opposed to the benefit of the state of the art equipment available for teaching the hospital.
E) Moreover, it is the duty of the patient to take their safety to the highest degree possible in order to avoid exposing themselves to danger.
6.1 suspicions about child abuse
A) The threshold for ill-treatment of children should be a bit high in this given situation. However, the nurse should not go ahead to accuse the father of the boy for it. The nurse should take her/his time to find out for the boy what might have cause these marks all over his back and his arms. In the event that the boy hints of child abuse, then the appropriate action should follow from there (Hope, Savulescu & Hendrick, 2008).
B) The needle marks on the fathers back do increase the suspicion of child abuse. However, this is only so if the father is a drug/substance user and not an intravenous drug user. Insulin inceptors have no connection with child abuse at all; if so, it would be a total misconception on the part of the nurse. The nurse should consider reporting the potential harm when the story given by the boy does not match the depth of the marks on his body. The nurse should also do an assessment of the father's needle marks in order to avoid making a false accusation.
C) But all factors considered it is more ethical to report to the authorities and end up being wrong than to hold down such information and risk having the boy in continuous harm by the father. Reporting child abuse stretches from the bounds of medical ethics only, and it also applies to the moral duty one has towards the people living in them and children mainly. Therefore, the nurse might choose to act on either standing; report to the authorities as a medical professional or raise the alarm on her suspicion as a responsible member of the society. However, given that she discovered the marks in her line of work, the medical ethic hold her more bound than the moral duty as an ordinary civilian.
8.4 suspicion about substances
A) At any time, there should never be a shift of the ethics that should apply on the medical issue. This is so especially in cases that involve substance use by a patient that has altered their physical and psychological states. Even in such a situation whereby, the patient has had controlled use of the substance, the nurse has to go ahead and discuss it. In fact, in the given case, the nurse only suspects it, so more inquiry should be conducted thereby stating that there should be a deliberate discussion that should be prompted by the nurse.
B) Nurse W has the duty to disclose such information to the parents in the event that the patient is a minor (Medical ethics today, 2004). It is so since; minors do not have the proper judgment to make such decisions for themselves. Regardless of the fact that medical health workers are sworn to the oath of confidentiality, such a case warrants the intervention of the parents since it already has negative implications for the patient. Nurse W, in no circumstances, has the right to discuss the situation without mentioning the OTC drug use.
C) In this case, it is highly essential to include it in the discussion since the parents already have suspicions regarding the drug use. Not mentioning it would mean that the suspicion would be cleared which is not appropriate since it is highly relevant to this situation (Campbell, 2007). Nurse W should handle this case with the utmost disclosure needed for it; which means disclosing it to the parents as well.
10. 2 withholding important genetic information from a family
A) The relatives to Mrs. H have all the right to this information. However, it is not the place for the medical workers to reveal it at the given time. It is so since it would be against the wishes of Mrs. H, in her due time she would find it within herself to reveal it to them. Regardless of the fact that they have no means of preventing it, informing them at that time would go against the wishes of Mrs. H since she is the patient here (Torr, 2000).
B) It would only be appropriate to reveal the information in her demise or when one of the family members happens to be a patient to the respective hospital. In her demise, the medical health workers have no oath binding them to keep the information among themselves and Mrs. therefore, they can consider informing the other family members. In the event that the diseases could be preventable, and the Mrs. H s not still willing to inform her family members, the media workers have an ethical duty to go ahead and firms the family since it is up to them to prevent instances of future health problems for any person. To clearly bring out this point, it is vital to note that medical workers such as doctors and nurses are held by ethical responsibility towards giving information to patients even in the sent that such information about the health of the patient was not the one being sought after; for instance, a patient walks into a hospital with a mild headache. After diagnosis the doctor discovers that the patient had been developing a brain tumor, it is up to the doctor to reveal the perceived information there and then to the patient, treating the headache alone as was expected by the patient would not be enough.
C) In the event that some of the Mrs. H family members were patients to the hospital the preserve of confidentiality would not extend to them since they would be the patients to the doctors as well. The doctors would be bound by separate ethical obligations to them that would nullify the confidentiality oath held between the doctor and Mrs. H.
Medical ethics today: The BMA's handbook of ethics and law. (2004). London: BMJ
Campbell, A. V. (2007). Medical ethics. Auckland: Oxford University Press.
Torr, J. D. (2000). Medical ethics. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.
Sommerville, A., English, V., Brannan, S., & British Medical Association. (2013). Everyday medical ethics and law. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.
Hope, R. A., Savulescu, J., & Hendrick, J. (2008). Medical ethics and law: The core curriculum. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.
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