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Ethical values are the foremost key feature of the nurses and they are the universal practise rule that helps to reduce the chances of the ethical issue (Boozaripour et al., 2018). The nurses are expected to consider the ethical and legal consideration during working practice to reduce chances issue that can lead to negative consequences (Haddad & Geiger, 2020). The case study is about Doris she is 79 years old and administered to the hospital after fall which on assessment revealed the right hip fracture. He was administered in the hospital by his husband and he was there during the treatment. The case studies many ethical issues that occur due to irrelevant behaviour of the medical staff like patient autonomy, malpractice, negligence, the duty of care and safety of the patient. This irrelevant behaviour of the medical staff leads to an ethical and legal issue which directly increase the risk for the patient. The essay is going to discuss the different ethical issue related to the case study and how they can lead to legal action. The essay is going to discuss four ethical considerations like patient participation, informed consent, the duty of care and patient care priority.
The first issue that arises in the case study is the doctor does not explain the procedure to the patient and her husband. They just started the procedure before taking opinion or preferences of the patient or family member. The ethical issue that arises in the incident is healthcare associates is expected to discuss the care process with patient or family and allow them to choose the appropriate care method according to their preference or belief.
The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights directly indicates that the patient has the right to work in partnership with the health care professional to improve person-centred care. The health care professionals are expected to indulge the patient or the family membrane in the care process. The partnership section of the chart directly indicates that the patient has the right to decide on the care and can prefer the treatment. The patient can also include the individual in planning and decision making to make the care more person-centred (Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health care, 2019). The nurses are expected to encourage patient participation in the care that helps to reframe the care according to patient preferences. The patient-centred care helps to reduce the chances of omission that occur due to generalising treatment that can increase the risk for the patient. The incorporation of the patient preference care directly leads to better health outcome as the care is framed according to the patient condition and choice (Mangin et al., 2016).
The respect for autonomy principle state that the individual has the right to prefer the care process and their decision should be respected by the health care associates. The autonomy principle has two aspects that include liberty and agency that provide the power to the individual to participate in decision making. The liberty in the autonomy state that individual has the right to choose the without depending on an individual and agency provides the right to the individual to implement the option they choose the care process. The patient preferences were not utilized in the treatment process and her husband is not informed about the treatment process that is against the patient autonomy right (Wancata & Hinshaw, 2016). The healthcare-associated does not inform about the treatment to Doris or her husband and they just initiated the surgery without consulting with the patient.
The second ethical consideration that should be maintained during the care process includes informed consent from the patient before starting the treatment procedure. During the treatment procedure, Doris was anxious and confused and she is not able to provide the informed consent but her husband was able to provide the informed consent. The healthcare-associated asked Peter to sign over the blank consent and they do not inform Peter about the treatment procedure that leads to ethical issue.
Nursing and Midwifery Board (2020) state the code foo conduct for the nurses in which the third section of the second principle discussed the importance of informed consent in clinical practice. The nurses are expected to have informed consent before starting the treatment procedure to reduce the chance of legal complication. The informed consent provides the health care associate with the personal willingness of the individual regarding the treatment and it also indicates that he/she is aware of every aspect of the treatment. The nurses should obtain an informed consent or valid authority before carrying out treatment and they are expected to discuss the patient or the family about benefit or risk associated with treatment. Informed consent is considered to be one of the important clinical practises that uplift the patient right. The health cares associated are expected to discuss with the patient and family regarding the treatment process and have informed consent before starting the treatment. The informed consent document should contain multiple aspects like nature of the treatment protocol, risk and benefit of treatment, alternatives, relevancy of the treatment. Informed consent promotes the collaborative decision making that directly improves the quality of care which leads to positive health results (Shah, Thornton & Hipskind, 2020).
Informed consent is considered to be one of the important documentation during patient treatment. It helps the health care professional to reduce the chances of any ethical or legal issue that can increase the chances of complication. The inadequate information in the informed consent can lead to legal consequences like litigation, professional licensure action and negative accreditation. The ethical consideration is also equally important as health care associates are expected to work ethically during patient care to avoid chances of the ethical issue (Farmer & Lundy, 2017). The informed consent was not taken from Doris husband and he was asked to sign a blank consent that does not contain any information regarding treatment that is the reason for the ethical issue.
The third issue that arises concerning the case study is due to the negligence of the doctor regarding the patient’s husband health status. When the nurse informed about the concern to the doctor they neglected the point by justifying that they have informed consent so they can proceed with the surgery. When Doris neighbour visited her and asked to sign informed consent as he knows peter condition the nurse went off duty by neglecting the appropriate action that is required for informed consent.
According to the Nursing and Midwifery Board (2020) proposed the code of ethics that discuss the nurse are expected to provide the quality nursing care process to every individual without neglecting any aspect of the individual. They are considered to be accountable for the patient health thus they are expected to devote their undivided time in the patient care. The care process should be preferred according to the patient condition and negligence can lead to negative consequences. Medical negligence is considered to be one of the crimes as it can lead to severe complication to the patient health status. Medical negligence occurs when the health care associate or the doctor intestinally avoid patient condition or document that can lead to negative consequences over patient health. Medical negligences are considered to be a civil offence that can lead to serious legal complication. The reason associated with medical negligence includes heavy workload, carelessness and lack of skill. The legal action against the medical negligence causes the health care associate to pay compensation to the patient and in addition to the compensation; they also have to face legal action (Gowda, 2015).
One of the ethical principles is Beneficence that states that health care professional care responsible to improve the quality of life of the individual by using appropriate therapeutic relationship and providing actuates attention toward patient health status. The beneficence state that nurses are expected to protect the patient from any harm by providing sufficient care and time that is required according to the patient current condition. The beneficence aims to benefit other individuals by performing actions that are following the patient condition which leads to a positive result (Singh & Ivory, 2015). The four-elements that are important for the action against the medical negligence include professional duty owed to the patient, breach of duty, injury to the patient and resulting damage intensity. These elements are needed to consider when action against medical negligence is conducted (Agrawal, 2016).
The fourth issue concerning the case study includes breach of duty of care that can directly increase the risk for the patient. On the day of patient surgery, the senior doctor just went off duty to play golf and handover the operation proceeds to the junior doctor that led to negative consequences over the Doris as she is not able to walks and has severe pain.
The duty of care is considered to be the responsibility of the health care professional to provide accurate care to the patient that will help him/her to improve the health status. The nurses are expected to maintain the ethical and moral duty during patient care. The duty of care directly aligned with the ethical principle beneficence that aims to act in the lead to profit to the patient. The first concern for the health care professional is to be the patient and they should work in collaboration to improve the quality of life of the patient. The nurses are expected to discuss with the patient regarding the possible risk factor that can occur after the treatment to increase their understanding. The standard of care should be set to provide the quality of care to the patient that will lead to a positive health outcome. The duty of care provides the basic frame of the care procedure that should ebb provided to the individual to promote the health status by providing accurate patient preferred care (Dowie, 2017).
One of the ethical principles is non-maleficence that states that healthcare professionals are expected to avoid the harm to the patient that can occur due to individual action. The key aspect of the nursing profession is to reduce the chances of harm that occur due to patient and it comes under non-maleficence. The action of health care should ensure that they are not going to have any negative impact on the health status of the patient. The breach of non-maleficence can lead to serious legal complication as they directly cause the health complication to the patient (Stone, 2018). The breach in the duty of care of the patient directly increases the complication of the patient as the junior doctor has done the surgery that has not experienced that lead to negative health results. Doris after the surgery faces difficulty in walking and has severe pain.
The essay has discussed the legal and ethical consideration that is related to the case study. The Doris is a 79-year-old woman who is just administered to the hospital after the fall with her husband. The first ethical consideration regarding the case study indicates not respecting patient autonomy during the care as a health care professional does not explain Doris or her husband regarding the care process. The second consideration includes the lack of informed consent that may lead to legal action. Health care professional informed Peter to sign the blank informed consent without discussing any information regarding the treatment benefit and risk factor. The third consideration regarding the case study includes medical negligence that can increase the complication of the individual when the senior doctor is informed about the lost medical condition of Peter which enables him to understand the treatment-related information senior doctor neglected that by justifying that they have informed consent which is enough to start the surgery. The last consideration of the case study includes breach of duty of care that can increase the complication of the patient health status. The senior doctor has on off duty because he wants to play golf and instructed the junior doctor to perform the surgery that directly increases the complication of the Doris.
Agrawal A. (2016). Medical negligence: Indian legal perspective. Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 19(Suppl 1), 9–14. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-2327.192889
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health care. (2019). Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (second edition). Retrieved from: https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/publications-and-resources/resource-library/australian-charter-healthcare-rights-second-edition-a4-accessible
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