Ethics Case Study
February 28, 2011
Jerry’s medical training does not qualify him to issue the refill order. The patient’s physician is the one who needs to determine whether or not the patient should have a prescription of Valium issued for his flight or not. Jerry’s medical training does not qualify him to issue any prescription to any patient regardless of what it is and who it is for. If a patient’s prescription request was for control of high blood pressure that the patient critically needed on a daily basis Jerry would still not have the professional credentials to allow him to issue the prescription orders. If faced with such a scenario Jerry should explain to the patient that he does not have the right to issue a prescription of any kind but that he would make it his first priority to tell the receptionist when he or she returned from his or her lunch break.
If Jerry called in the refill and the patient had an adverse reaction while flying Jerry would not be protected from a lawsuit under the doctrine of respondent superior. Both Jerry as well as him employer would be at risk for malpractice. The doctrine of respondeat superior states that if an employee commits an error that the employer is responsible because they are always responsible for the actions of their employees.
My advice to Jerry would be to kindly explain to the patient that he does not have the authority to issue any prescription of any kind but that he could either pass on the message to the receptionist when he or she returned for lunch or give the patient the time that the receptionist is due back from lunch and suggest that the patient calls back at that time.
The decision that Jerry makes in the given scenario could be affected by a few different things. First Jerry would likely feel empathy for the patient who called and requested that his prescription be filled, which will likely make Jerry want to help the patient. The patient explains to Jerry that...