Negligence: Medicine and Ethical Principles

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Negligence HCS/478 October, 2011 Negligence In this paper the subject to discuss is a newspaper article given in season three, episode seven of Pearson Health Science Neighborhood in the course materials section of University of Phoenix student Website. The article “Amputation mishap, negligence cited” is about the wrong leg amputation of 62-year-old Joseph Benson, a diabetic patient who suffered from poor circulation for five years. The hospital where he had surgery is experiencing nursing shortage and union problems (Pearson Health Science, 2011). The incidence of wrong leg amputation occurred as a result of negligence. This could have avoided by completing a pre procedural checklist, site marking, and time out and proper…show more content…
Importance of documentation In today’s health care field nurses are accountable for documentation of patient information that accurately reflects nursing assessment, plan of care, intervention, and evaluation of the patient’s condition. To satisfy ethical and legal requirements, documentation in this case should show that the standard of care was met by following standard of care set by JACHO. Ethically, the nurse’s primary goal is to protect the patient and to act as his or her advocate. Documentation will include the verification process, site marking by the surgeon involving the patient, and time out. The verification process will include identifying the correct patient with two identifiers, completing a checklist, and obtaining patient’s medical records and imaging studies. Time out is performed by verification of the patient, surgical site, and procedure in the operating room by each surgical team member. Following these steps will protect patient ethically and legally. Because the nurses and doctors did not uphold the standard of care by implementing the time-out, Joseph had the wrong leg amputated. His rights were violated legally and ethically. Two ethical principles that would guide a nurse’s practice in Joseph Benson’s case are beneficence and nonmaleficence. Beneficence is the duty to improve the condition of others and nonmaleficence is the duty not to injure
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