Ethics Case Study

Topics: Ethics, Health care provider, Health care Pages: 4 (1136 words) Published: July 24, 2011
Ethics Case Study
Everyday health care workers around the world are faced with tough decisions. The law guides many decisions but some decisions require ethical considerations. Making good ethical decisions is not always as easy as it seems. Making ethical decisions is even harder when the primary intention is to be helpful, but it is beyond an employee’s qualifications. Jerry’s Qualifications versus Necessary Qualifications

Qualification as a medical assistant and a licensed practical nurse (LPN) does not qualify Jerry to fill, or even refill, any prescription. Only pharmacists, doctors, and other certified professionals can order medications. Jerry working as medical assistant means he is responsible for both administrative and clinical duties (Fremgen, 2009). Jerry is a LPN, which means that he is responsible for many of the same duties as registered nurses, which does not include filling or refilling prescriptions (Fremgen, 2009). Types of doctors who are allowed to write prescriptions include optometrists, veterinarians, podiatrists, clinical pharmacists, and dentists (University Health Care, 2008). Nurse practitioners, psychologists, and physician assistants can often prescribe and order medications. Because Jerry holds none of the fore-mentioned titles he is unauthorized to order a refill on a prescription. Does Type of Medication Make a Difference?

Whether Jerry is refilling a prescription for blood pressure medication, blood thinners, or valium he is still overstepping the boundaries of his profession. The Valium or Diazepam that the patient is requesting a refill for can be very addictive (PubMed Health, 2010). This means that people can become dependent on the effects of valium and desire to use it more often or in larger quantities than instructed. Therefore, refilling valium may be thought of as more ethically unjust than a prescription drug that is not addictive or used recreationally. If a patient called with an...
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