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In the past, medical ethics has been centered on the doctor, the patient, and the doctor- patient affiliation. Nevertheless, in the contemporary setting, most care happens in organizational backgrounds; for instance, group practices among others. Medical cultures and strategies influence the care given to patients as well as decorum in the sector, either positively or negatively.
Bloodgate is the instance discussed in this paper as a case of medical ethics violation. Bloodgate stands for a rugby match outrage linking the Harlequins against the Leinster teams and it was dubbed as such following the employment of counterfeit blood (Muirhead 195-196). In early 2009, Harlequins was lagging behind Leinster 6-5 in the rugby quarterfinals in a bid to win the Heinecken Cup in England.
The Winger of the Harlequins team, Tom Williams, “all of a sudden spewed blood out of his mouth, which prompted the team to substitute a professional kicker, Nick Evans, for Williams. Nevertheless, what came out of Williams’ mouth was not real blood; instead, it was false blood coming from a capsule given to Williams by his trainer” (Carter 48). This paper discusses medical ethics violation during this rugby match.
Bloodgate – a health care Ethics Violation
The application of a false blood capsule was instigated by a former rugby director, Dean Richards, and was presented to Williams by Steff Brennan (physiotherapist at that time). However, this hoax did not bear fruits. Following the faked blood injury, Evans, a player that had previously been substituted, was permitted back into the field.
The officials and “players of the Leinster team became suspicious and while at the locker room, panic gripped Williams” (Carter 48). Williams pleaded with an emergency room doctor operating as the Harlequins team general practitioner, Dr. Wendy Chapman, to make a small cut on his lip in order for Williams to have a justification for his case.
Subsequent to some dithering, Dr. Chapman accepted to go along with Williams’ request. Afterward, when inquired concerning the occurrence, she (Dr. Wendy) gave confirmation that a loose incisor was the reason behind the cut.
Nonetheless, a recording of the game between Harlequins and Leinster demonstrated Williams taking a capsule that was in his socks and stealthily placing it in his mouth prior to the fake blood coming out from his mouth (Chaitt, Moses, and Jones 5-9). Williams was as well seen winking at the other players of Harlequins as he came out from the field.
Upon leaving the pitch, Williams headed to Dr Wendy, who had no prior information on the issue. Subsequent to reiterated persistent demands from Williams, Dr Wendy made a cut on Williams’ lip. The demands from Williams were made more imperative by the reality that a representative from the European Rugby Cup (ERC) as well as the Leinster doctor were struggling to get their way in to the private health facility (they had no permission to do according to the participation accord).
The wound due to the cut made was partially healed with the use of gauze and pressure on Williams’ mouth. There were no stitches needed. The idea of having the cut made was solely from Williams (Gaskin, Jenny, and Clark 160-165). Richards was not in attendance and was not even conscious of the cut until later.
While responding to claims that her behavior was liable of causing the profession lose reputation and appear insincere, counsel for Dr Wendy confessed to a number of charges, and admitted that she made the cut since the player desired to show “an actual injury”. The participation of the doctor in the deception makes this a medical ethics violation.
In this regard, some legal actions were inevitable. The coach of the Harlequins team, Dean Richards, was disallowed from training in the European clubs for a period of three years. The trainer that provided Williams with the false blood capsule, Steph Brennan, was deferred for two years. The Harlequins team was given a fine of 259,000 British pounds.
Moreover, in the late 2009, the United Kingdom General Medical Council (GMC) deferred Dr. Wendy Chapman for a period of one year. A two-week hearing of the misconduct of Dr. Wendy by GMC was set. At the latest hearing of Dr. Wendy, she gave evidence that she was in anticipation of surgery due to breast cancer at the time and was as well putting up with depression during that occasion, which messed up her decision.
Dr Wendy in addition confessed that she had previously failed to inform a European Rugby Cup disciplinary hearing that she had made the lip cut (Anderson 948). She was extremely ashamed of her violation of medical ethics and horror-struck that she had deceived regarding her actions.
The Bloodgate was a chance to bring an excellent kicking to rugby and observed in wisdom after the event, the swiftness with which disgrace poured forth is openly unpleasant. Dr. Wendy was suspended from the moment the news of the matter broke, the largest part of it with no pay, and was recuperating from surgery due to breast cancer (Gaskin, Jenny, and Clark 166-170).
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Dr Wendy was not supposed to have given in to the demands from Williams at all; she should have acted according to the stipulated laws. However, sacking her could be an unpleasant overreaction that is not essential to guarantee public wellbeing, which ought to be the major concern of the General Medical Council. The utter temperament of a number of the public displeasure of Dr. Wendy was shocking.
The adequate punishment as per a number of the displeasures is straight removal from the profession coupled with frequently having the support of biased and incorrect Hippocratic Oath recommendation. Scores of the most passionate supporters of sacking have expressed disapproval of Dr. Wendy, while ignoring every other detail.
Considering Dr Wendy and officials of European Rugby Cup, it is evident that she was charged incorrectly by the ERC, which afterward declared that it had no authority over her. The officials of the ERC should have asked Dr. Wendy to be a witness. Once she became the defendant, Dr Wendy had no responsibility to formulate any statement.
The General Medical Council would have possibly made the loss of Dr. Wendy’s medical licensure; however, the Council opted to allow her to resume duty after a year (Gaskin, Jenny, and Clark 171-175). The chairperson of the GMC team stated that usually such bad behavior could be anticipated to materialize in an outcome of impaired suitability to practice.
Nevertheless, the incidents of this case are entirely outstanding in that the professional medical confirmation recommends that in the nonexistence of depression, one would not have performed in this manner. It appears that the prior act of Dr. Wendy had been with no fault. The General Medical Council took her ethics violation as an unusual act, viz. one-time issue.
Comparing the misconduct of Dr. Wendy to instances of sex involving physicians and patients could help in justifying the verdict given by the General Medical Council. Building up a sexual affiliation with a current or former patient taints the reputation of the profession itself, no matter its consequences on the patient. The effect to the patient is a possible result of patient- doctor sex while effect to the profession is an unavoidable upshot.
The public, doctors, and patients will lose confidence and esteem for the health career. It is thus justifiable as to why the GMC made such a conclusion as regarding Dr. Wendy. Making the assumption that her ethical violation in the case of Williams was not an indication of a practice of unethical conduct and that her act as an emergency doctor met medical and ethical principles, there is thus no cause to perceive her as an unsafe bet for patients in times to come.
Furthermore, the effect to public opinion of the veracity of the health profession is not similar to one with a sexual affiliation (Anderson 949). The ethical violation of Dr. Wendy demonstrated human weakness, but did not stand for self-satisfaction or potential mistreatment of a patient. The one year of deferment coupled with an apology to the public was enough for Dr. Wendy.
Moreover, Wendy was directed that the right panel before which to present evidence was the General Medical Council. In this regard, Wendy was under a compulsion from a specialized cover insurance position to go by that counsel or cater for the cost of every proceeding. The description of the occurrence to the General Medical Council by Williams was extraordinarily unclear.
Williams stated that he asked Dr. Wendy to make a small cut on his lip and added that he could recall that she was not pleased concerning it (Chaitt, Moses, and Jones 10-12). The explanations provided by numerous parties, which include the agents of Williams and the European Rugby Cup, generated a feeling that Dr. Wendy was aware of the cheat and conspiracy and that she had presented deceptive statements.
Experiencing a similar continued exposure that Dr. Wendy encountered, even accounting for her guilt, one could deem it as an adequate reprimand, not to mention the loss of earnings. Dr. Wendy was admonished publicly and clearly, she will not accept to operate anymore as a voluntary rugby doctor; consequently, there is no panic of a repeat of the happening.
In the past, medical ethics concentrated on the doctor, the patient, and the doctor- patient affiliation; however, nowadays most care happens in organizational surroundings. In early 2009, during a rugby match in a bid to win the Heinecken Cup, Williams, the winger of the Harlequins team, spewed blood out of his mouth that permitted the team to make a substitution for Evans.
Nonetheless, Williams did not spew true blood out of his mouth, but false blood coming from a capsule from Brennan, the trainer of the team. Immediately after leaving the field, Williams headed to Dr. Wendy and made persistent demands that forced Dr Wendy to make a cut at his lip to act as deception for a real injury at the field, and thus she committed a medical ethics violation. Consequently, some legal actions were inevitable for each participant.
Anderson, Lynley. “Bloodgate: Were the punishments fair.” British Journal of Sports Medicine 45.12 (2011): 948-949. Print.
Carter, Helen. “Bloodgate scandal doctor ‘pressured into cutting rugby player’s lip’.” The Guardian 23 Aug. 2010: 48. Print.
Chaitt, Michelle, Richard Moses, and Scott Jones. “Prescription Drug Abuse, PDMPs, and the Changing Health System Paradigm: New Compliance, Quality, and Malpractice Exposures with Physician-Hospital Ventures.” Journal of Health Care Compliance 14.6 (2012): 5-12. Print.
Gaskin, Deeona, Brenna Jenny, and Stacy Clark. “Recent Developments in Health Law.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 40.1 (2012):160-175. Print.
Muirhead, William. “When four principles are too many: Bloodgate, integrity and an action-guiding model of ethical decision making in clinical practice.” Journal of Medical Ethics 38.4 (2012): 190-196. Print.