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Medical Ethics in Nursing Practice

The case of Canterbury and Spence introduces an isolated case of negligence in medical practice. The physician violated the rights of the patient by not informing him of the potential risks of laminectomy and that it can lead to paralysis. After the surgery, he was left unattended and fell in the process. The court did not address the negligence of duty of Dr. Spence and hence Canterbury appealed. Either the jury overlooked the negligence, or it assumed the duty breach by Dr. Spence. Hence appealing was the right option for Canterbury since he no longer could work as effectively as before. He resigned from his job as his condition has worsened.

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The informed consent model forms part of the decision-making process by a patient. The patient should be well informed about the procedures to be performed on him and the potential risks. This enables a patient to make informed decisions. Sometimes, a longer time is needed in making a decision. Informed consent can shorten this time in the case of an emergency since the patient is knowledgeable about the whole procedure and can make a decision in the shortest time possible.

In the Tarasoff v. Regents of UC case, a crime that would have been prevented; took place. The defendants, that is the police and the therapists had prior knowledge of the intentions of Poddar to murder Tatiana. The plaintiffs posed that the therapists had the duty of informing them of death threats made against Tatiana by Poddar. This meant that they failed in their legal duty to protect a third-party would-be victim. The therapist informed the campus police who detained him. The police made an error in judgment when they released Poddar on grounds that he was ok and rational. Had the parents been told, they would have taken protective measures. The tort law gives the defendants immunity against the parents’ claim based on the tort’s law of 1963.

Advance directives for health care in expectation of incompetence have been accepted largely for implementation. They have benefits and risks since it is hard for one to anticipate incompetence entrust himself to another person. A person cannot predict incompetence that may happen to him in the future. In essence, it is hard to predict future occurrences in the health of a person.

Siegler refers to confidentiality as an old and worn-out concept in the modern medicine world. According to him, it is useless in the modern world. Confidentiality is entailed in the Hippocratic Oath. This requires that doctors do not disclose any personal and secret information from the patient. The patient can disclose very personal and sometimes very embarrassing information to the doctor about his medical condition and his private life. This information needs to be kept confidential by the doctor. For example, if a leader is sick it is not right to tell the nation, especially when in a critical condition. Disclosing the information may lead to instability especially if he is the president. Hence confidentiality is relative based on the situation that one is in.

HIV is a very dangerous disease as it debilitates a person progressively until he dies. Winston asks a question about the right to know the HIV status. Giving the identity of one who has HIV can lead the patient to become traumatized and worsen the situation. This can lead to utter discrimination and isolation of the patient by the public. He also talks of the confidentiality of the patient to prevent the leaking of information that may cause him more harm than good. The right to know whether one has been infected like medical personnel needs to be considered carefully. Prior counseling is given and even provides healthcare for the people involved to prevent any spread of AIDS to the population. This can lengthen their lifespan and reduce the stress that may occur if any information is disclosed

In conclusion, ethics in medicine needs to be enforced to avert and minimize any negligence on part of medical practitioners. This will reduce cases that would have been preventable.

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Works Cited

Buppert, Carolyn. Nurse Practitioner’s Business Practice and Legal Guide. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett, 2008. Print.

Summers, Scott K, and Carol Krohm. Advance Health Care Directives: A Handbook for Professionals. Chicago, Ill: American Bar Association, Senior Lawyers Division, 2001. Print.

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