Pharmacists' Legal Obligations: Mclaughlin vs. Hooks Case
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Pharmacists' Legal Obligations: The McLaughlin v Hooks Case
a) Pharmacists have ethical and legal obligations to ensure that the prescriptions they fill are valid, both in that the physician must be prescribing the medication for a valid reason and that the person filling the prescription must be doing so for valid therapeutic reasons (ASHP, 2008; Brushwood, n.d.). The court needs to take these obligations into account, and then must determine whether the frequency with which the prescription was refilled would have required a pharmacist to check with the patient's physician or at least another pharmacist in order to determine if the pattern represented abuse (Brushwood, n.d.). The basic considerations before the court, then, are the pattern of behavior (i.e. prescription refilling) represented in the facts and the relationship of this pattern to the legal and ethical standards of pharmacists. The addition was certainly a foreseeable consequence, and this means that standard applications of negligence torts might also be applicable.
b) Duty of care for the patient is not strictly defined by case law in this sense it is not clear that Hooks has a responsibility to prevent McLaughlin from becoming addicted, that is but pharmacists do have a recognized duty of care to prescribe medication only for properly authorized therapeutic reasons (ASHP, 2008; Brushwood, n.d.). Pharmacists do act as "insurers" against addition in this sense, and there is an automatically preventative