Ethical and Legal Problems Faced by Nurse Practioner

1459 Words Jul 15th, 2013 6 Pages
Ethical and Legal Problems Faced by Nurse Practitioners
HCA322: Health Care Ethics & Medical Law (BGE1226A)
Instructor: Eugene Elliott
Cara Gerlach
7/23/12

Ethical and Legal Problems Faced by Nurse Practitioners Every medical professional has or will face some ethical and legal issues in the Medical Field, the Nurse Practitioners (NP) are no different. Fant stated that in an ethical dilemma there are no right answers or solutions; however, in these dilemmas there are no wrong answers either. Sule feels that the ethical issues for NPs are in consent and capacity, confidentiality and autonomy, and in the non-compliance on part of patient. Offredy and Townsend both feel that a breech in clinical governance and management can cause
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Sule stated that, “The Patient Bill of Right adopted by American Hospitals Association states that ‘a patient possesses the right to be informed of the medical consequences of his or her actions and decisions and refuse treatment to the extent permitted by the law’. However, this is true only if the patient is in position to understand the consequences of his treatment. Incompetent, senile patients neither have the correct judgment regarding which treatment is appropriate for them, nor are they in a state of understanding the implications of their treatment. In such case, their willingness to grant or deny consent cannot dictate the course of treatment.” Problem with the Act is being able to find that the patient component enough to make such a call. Another issue that Sule stated was on confidentiality and autonomy. According to Sule, “This is another ethical issue erupting from the conflict of patient's rights and professional ethics in nursing job and profession. The Patient Bill of Right makes it mandatory for the medical practitioners to reveal the form and extent of the ailment along with the course of treatment to be undertaken by the practitioners. However, this law of autonomy clashes with the nursing ethic that the professional should maintain high degree of confidentiality regarding the patient's health and treatment.” This can cause conflicting issues in the NP’s
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