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Ehical Situations

QuestionAnswer
Patient is noncompliant(situation). (appropriate response) Attempt to identify the patient's reason for noncompliance and determine his/her willingness to change; do not attempt to coerce the pt into complying or refer the pt to another physician.
Pt desires an unnecessary procedure(situation). Attempt to understand why the pt wants the procedure and address underlying concerns.Do not refuse to see the pt or refer him/her to another physician.
Pt has difficulty taking medications(situation). Provide written instructions; attempt to simplify treatment regimens.
Family members ask for information about pt's prognosis. Avoid discussing issues with relatives without the permission of the pt.
A child wishes to know more about his illness. Ask what the parents have told the child about his/her illness.Parents of a child decide what information can be relayed about the illness.
A 17 y/o girl is pregnant and request an abortion. Many states require parental notification or consent for minors for an abortion. Unless she is at medical risk, do not advise a pt to have an abortion regardless of her age or the condition of the fetus.
A 15 y/o girl is pregnant and wants to keep the child.Her parents want you to tell her to give the child for adoption. The pt retains the right to make decisions regarding her child, even if her parents disagree.Provide information to the teenager about the practical issues of caring for a baby.Discuss the options, if requested.Encourage discussion between the teenager an
A terminally ill pt requests physician assistance in ending his life. In the overwhelming majority of states, refuse involvement in any form of physician-assisted suicide.Physicians may, however, prescribe medically appropriate analgesics that coincidentally shorten the pt's life.
Pt is suicidal. Assess the seriousness of the threat; if it is serious suggest that the pt remain in the hospital voluntarily; pt can be hospitalized involuntarily if she/he refuses.
Pt states that he finds you attractive. Ask direct, closed-ended questions and use a chaperone if necessary.Romantic relationships with pts are never appropiate. Never say, "there can be no relationship while you are a pt", because it implies that a relationship may be possible if the individua
A middle-aged married woman who had a mastectomy says she feels "ugly" when she undresses at night. Find out why the pt feels this way.Do not offer falsely reassuring statements(e.g., "you still look good").
Pt is angry about the amount of time he spent in the waiting room. Acknowledge the pt's anger personally.Apologize for any inconvenience.Stay away from efforts to explain the delay.
Pt is upset with the way he was treated by another Dr. Suggest that the pt speak directly to that physician regarding his concerns.If the problem is with a member of the office staff, tell the pt you will speak to that individual.
A drug company offers a "referral fee" for every pt a physician enrolls in a study. Elegible pts who may benefit from the study may be enrolled, but it is never acceptable for a physician to receive compensation from a drug company. Pts must be told about the existence of a referral fee.
A physician orders an invasive test for the wrong pt. No matter how serious or trivial a medical error, a physician is ethically obligated to inform a pt that a mistake has been made.
Apt requires a treatment not covered by his insurance. Never limit or deny care because of the expense in time or money.Discuss all treatment options with pts, even if some are not covered by their insurance companies.
Created by: davidallenf19