University of Phoenix
Health Care Ethics and Social Responsibility
November 26, 2010
Ethics Case Study
In today’s health care culture some individuals are presented to undertake unlawful medical actions based on personal guidance; however, ethical and legal issues effect one’s actions if he or she is not qualified to make such decisions. The case of Jerry McCall is an example of such a scenario in today’s health care environment. Although Jerry is trained as a medical assistant and a licensed practical nurse (LPN), this does not give him the authority to prescribe any form of medication to any person for any reason. The scope of Jerry’s training will allow him to take vitals, attend to wounds, sometimes administer injections under the supervision of physicians, and in a hospital setting monitor patients on catheters and oxygen provisions. Additionally, Jerry is a medical assistant and is a multi-skilled health professional who offers administrative, clerical, and technical support to the physician. The scope of Jerry’s training is limited to all of the mentioned duties and none are described as administering medication.
Dr. William’s patient is a personal friend, and regardless of the type of medication he needs (Valium or blood pressure), Jerry could call the doctor to assist the patient or have the patient call the doctor to prescribe the medication for him in an emergency situation. The patient of Dr. Williams may need this prescription to fly and although the medication; Valium, is used to treat anxiety for fear of flying, the legal consequences should Jerry call in the refill for the patient can cost the physician, office staff, Jerry and the patient catastrophic monetary injury. Additionally, the ethical responsibility for Jerry in this situation could cost him a permanent career loss because he could lose his license. Jerry may assume he is protected under the doctrine of respondent...