Assignment 1 Discussion Questions Chapter 1 2 Discuss the difference between the term legal and moral In general laws are rules or actions prescribed by a government that have a legal force and morality is defined as the quality of being virtuous or practicing the right conduct In other words it means that moral serves as the obligation to do what the conscience of a person tells him or her what is right while it is not the case for the legality Based on the definitions there are several ways to differentiate legal and moral term First when it comes to the object law provides submission of individual to the will of society while morality subjects individual to the dictates of his or her own conscience Second in terms of the means law governs people through external coercion or legal force but moral gives people a free self determination towards the good Another difference is legal rules imposed by authorized power are created to regulate people s conducts and to maintain the safety to entire society In contrast moral functions in different way by punishment by society to seek for perfectionism or idealism in everyone Finally law extends only to a great number of acts while morality can apply for every human act in many situations 4 Determine ten questions of Point to Ponder are legal or ethical issues or both 1 Should an alcoholic patient who may die of liver disease be eligible for an organ transplant Ethical issue 2 Should a suicidal patient be allowed to refuse a feeding tube Legal issue 3 Should prisoners be eligible to receive expensive medical therapies for illnesses Ethical issue 4 Is assisting with suicide ever ethically justified Both
5 Should medical personnel suggest other treatment modes or suggest the patient request a consultation with another physician Ethical issue 6 Under what circumstances should you report a colleague or physician who is physically psychologically or pharmacologically impaired Legal issue 7 Is experimentation on human subjects ever justified Ethical issue 8 When if ever should you disclose a patient's medical condition to the family Both 9 Should parents be allowed to refuse medical treatment such as chemotherapy for their child Legal issue 10 If you are an employee in a medical office with access to medical records should you protect your friend by telling him that you know that his partner has tested positive for AIDS Both 5 Describe five ethical situations you may face in the profession you intend to follow Since I am pursuing nursing career the top five ethical situations I might encounter in the future can be related to confidentiality honesty relationships with patient autonomy redistribution of scarce resources and end of life care when a decision must be made to turn off life support machines and allow death to occur
First common dilemma a nurse face is confidentiality It is not only a way of showing respect for a patient's autonomy but also a way of showing professionalism in workplace In addition confidentiality is also a legal issue since there are many specific laws regarding to the release of information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA Another ethical issue relating to confidentiality is telling the truth or being honest with patients as well as their family In most cases families tend to withhold truthful information to protect patients from emotional distress For nurses they might deal with such situations when nurses are not sure if a patient have the right to know everything about their condition even if sharing the information will cause harm or what if sharing a patient this information can eventually promote happier less stressful In short deciding what information will be shared coupled with whom how and when to share it can be a difficult part of a nurse's responsibilities In addition to confidentiality and honesty nurses also must deal with ethical issues related to autonomy when nurses are not always able to say yes As people in the U S A have been granted the freedom of choice problems occur when freedom of making choices impacts patients health or even endanger to their own lives Therefore in such situations nurses must choose to override the right of free choice to prolong patient s life and health In other cases nurses will have troubles with utilization of limited resources Resources providing patient care include bed space government reimbursements funding Nurses might have to deal with this ethical dilemma when patients are utilizing resources that might be better used on another patient For example if a patient is in a medically vegetative state with no brain function is on life support and has been for several years and the cost of maintenance is high nurses will have to decide whether redirect these resources to patients for whom they could be truly life saving or allow the resources being used on this patient to end Finally end of life care is another ethical concern for nurses Patients die while incarcerated and the nurse's job is helping the patient to die with dignity and comfort
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