Unethical behavior on the part of the residency doctor
In the scenario, the training director of a residency program encountered reports of unethical behavior on the part of a physician. He was continuously making disparaging comments to patients and residents about other physicians’ work, which is insulting as it is. If to apply clinical ethics to the situation and assess what points to the lack of understanding of ethics on the part of the physician, several topics apply.
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First, patient preferences are of relevance in the scenario because the physician spoke with patients about the supposed lack of professionalism other physicians had, which seemed to scare them, thus diminishing the respectful attitude towards them. There was no therapeutic benefit to the patient of listening to disparaging comments, which suggests that the physician’s behavior was unethical. Contextual features also apply to this case because all clinical encounters imply a wider social context (Jonsen et al. 20). While physicians can question the work of other health providers, they should focus on what is best for the patient and not what they think personally.
If, for example, the physician expressed concern with the work of his colleagues and provided evidence for their malpractice, his behavior will be considered ethical. However, he resorted to name-calling without providing any substantial evidence for why a surgeon was a butcher or why a psychiatrist was a mindless twit. To conclude, the physician’s behavior was unethical and was not supported by facts; it is possible to challenge the practice of other health care providers but only when it is justified and when no insults are involved.
Forgery by a patient treated in a family practice
In the scenario, a health provider faced a problem of whether to report a forgery committed by a patient who had been treated for many years as a part of family practice. Because the patient had a history of anxiety and substance abuse, the forgery is of particular concern since he could sell the drugs he was prescribed earlier. If to apply principles of clinical ethics to the situation, quality of life and contextual features are the most prominent.
The principle of quality of life is linked to clinical encounters targeted at addressing patients’ physical and emotional health. Therefore, it is advised to report the forgery to the police because the possession of prescription medication in large quantities can cause harm to the patient with the history of drug abuse. To some degree, it is hard to do on a personal level because the health care provider has known the patient for many years; however, for the sake of his safety and well-being, reporting the crime is the most ethical solution however unpleasant it may be. Contextual features are of importance in this case because the law suggests that failures to report and disclose errors can lead to adverse implications (Wolf and Hughes 333).
It is also possible that someone else finds out that the doctor failed to report forgery to protect the interests of the patient with drug abuse, which will subsequently influence the professional reputation. Moreover, since the patient refused an appointment with his health care provider, there is no point in covering up for fraud. In any case, it is recommended to report the incident to the police to ensure the patient’s safety, protect the doctor’s professional reputation, and follow the rule of law.
Jonsen, Albert, et al. Clinical Ethics: A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions on Clinical Medicine. 7th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Wolf, Zane, and Ronda Hughes. “Error Reporting and Disclosure.” Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses: Vol 2, edited by Ronda Hughes, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008, pp. 333-379.