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Ethics ISSUE 3:The American Medical Association's Code of Medical Ethicsstates that physicians and other health care practitioners should not provide, prescribe, or bill for services they know are unnecessary. To be fair, however, it's not difficult to understand why a reasonable doctor would want to cover all his or her bases, so to speak, since the threat of a frivolous lawsuit is always looming.James Wilson sees his physician for intermittent chest pain. Mr. Wilson's symptoms do not include sweating, difficulty breathing, or any other indications of heart problems. After a complete examination that includes a stress test and blood work, the physician is reasonably sure Mr. Wilson does not have heart problems. To protect against liability, however, Mr. Wilson's physician orders a coronary angiogram.Discussion Question1. Is it ethical for a physician or any other health care practitioner to prescribe or administer a medical treatment or test just to protect against potential liability? Explain your answer. As a professional you need to do what you believe is in the interest of the patient. I would explain all the test results to the patient and explain why I still want to do the procedure done. Tell the patient you are protect them in the long run. Better to be safe than sorry. Ethics Issues Health Care Trends and ForecastsChapter 13
As the world progresses into the twenty-first century, one aspect of health care—disaster planning—requires urgent attention. Not only does each year bring killer tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods and wildfires, the threat of spreading diseases and terrorist attacks continues to loom. Health care practitioners are on the front lines during any disaster, and the logistical and ethical concerns associated with caring for populations during these events fall heavily on their shoulders. If all assigned health care practitioners can't report for duty, who will take charge? Should triage (an assessment of which of the injured should receive treatment first) proceed as innormal times, and who will be responsible for deciding? Will nurses be expected to perform as surgeons, technicians as pharmacists, or aides as nurses?In “Adapting Standards of Care under Extreme Conditions: Guidance for Professionals during Disasters, Pandemics, and Other Extreme Emergencies,” the American Nurses Association addresses the ethics-wrought issue of planning for maintaining medical services during widespread emergencies. FEMA's National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Homeland Security's all-hazards National Response Plan provide guidelines for communities andindividuals during a disaster, but the ANA's publication specifically addresses the issues health care practitioners will face during extreme emergencies. In addition, The Joint Commission offers “Revisions to Emergency Management Standards for Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals, and Long Term Care,” defining an “all-hazards” approach that will allow some flexibility in responses to disasters.