Ethics

Ethics are an important aspect of an individual’s personal and professional life, as ethics help people determine whether their actions are right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, and fair or unfair (Fremen, 2009).

In any career, strong workplace ethics and interpersonal ethics are essential. One situation is the case study involving Dr. William’s office assistant, Jerry McCall. Jerry received a call while sitting in for the receptionist.

The call was from a long-time patient, who needed a refill at the last minute, for an antidepressant.The patient told Jerry that he is a close friend of Dr. Williams. Jerry has some LPN and medical assistant training but no certification in either field. No one else is available to fill the prescription. This ethics case study will examine if Jerry is qualified to call in a refill.

This is bearing on the situation with the callers need for the prescription, and Jerry making ethical and legal decisions. A health care professional must have specific qualifications and certifications to order medication refills for patients (Fremen, 2009). Even though Jerry has training as an LPN and a medical assistant, he still has no certification to work in either field.If jerry had his certification it still does not give him the qualifications to order prescription for patients. Jerry’s medical training does not qualify him to issue refill orders for patients. Calling in prescriptions for patients would put jerry at greater risk for many legal issues. He has to have permission from the physician to call in any prescriptions for patients. Would it make a difference if the medication requested were for control of high blood pressure that the patient critically needed on a daily basis? Why or Why not? This question is tricky.

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I think Jerry would not be able to prescribe medication even if it is needed every day. I also believe there is no difference if the prescription being requested were for high blood pressure control needed on a daily basis. Any patient needing medication refills has to see the doctor first. Dr. Williams may have changed the type of blood pressure medication or may even want to try different type of medication al together. It is not good to assume that the patient knows the doctors intentions. Jerry McCall does not have a say in prescribing any medication without first discussing it with Dr.

 Williams.If Jerry call in the refill and the patient has an adverse reaction while flying, is Jerry protected from a lawsuit under the doctrine of respondent? Under the doctrine of respondent superior, Jerry could be protected from lawsuit if a patient has an adverse reaction to the medication while flying. Jerry’s employer could be facing a malpractice lawsuit. The doctrine of respondent is defined that the employer is liable for the employee’s actions (Farley, INC, 2011).

My advice to Jerry is to explain to the patient that only the doctor can prescribe prescriptions.If his refills are out he needs to schedule an appointment, because the doctor may want to try new type of medication. Jerry should put the patient on hold and consult with the doctor on what to tell the patient. It would be unethical for Jerry to call in the prescription for the patient without consulting the doctor first. Identify major legal and ethical issues that may affect Jerry’s decision. Jerry’s career could be damaged depending on his decision to refill the patient’s prescription.Jerry’s decision could also damage Dr. Williams’ career, and the other employees who work in the office.

Jerry and the doctor could both face malpractice lawsuits. What problem solving methods might be helpful to assist in making an ethical decision? Problem solving is an important skill for life and business. The first step is to determine whether there is an ethical issue. The second step is to identify the key values involved. Step three is to rank the values that are most relevant to the issue. The fourth step is to develop an action plan that is consistent with the ethical issues.And last, but not least, Step five is to implement a plan (Essential Steps for Ethical Problem Solving). In conclusion, Jerry is not authorized to refill patients prescriptions without consulting with the doctor first.

He is not certified to do so and it would be unethical for Jerry to assume that because the patient is telling the truth about being a friend of the doctor, that it is ok to refill the prescription. Jerry should also be aware of the lawsuits that he could face and bring the doctor for making a decision that is unethical.

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