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The nurse interfered with this relationship when she discussed with the patient about other alternative treatment for Leukemia behind the physician’s…
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Running head: ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUE WITHIN THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY Unit 3 Individual Project Unit 3 Individual Project The nurse was only supposed to administer chemotherapy to the patient and not to interfere with patient-physician relationship. The nurse interfered with this relationship when she discussed with the patient about other alternative treatment for Leukemia behind the physician’s back.
The nurse ought to have discussed the patient concern on the chemotherapy with the physician and not wait to discuss the alternative treatment with the patient like she did that evening.
The nurse did not answer the patient immediately she became concern and had a second thought about the chemotherapy and had to wait until in the evening to discuss this with the patient. The nurse had moved beyond her scope of practice for she was only supposed to administer the treatment as directed by the physician as she is believed to be working under him and if there was any concern to be raised, it should have been directed to the physician and not discuss it with the patient.
The nurse’s conduct could be justified under the patient advocate portion as she is believed to have been concerned with the patient views on the treatment. On the other hand, her conduct might not really be justified since she interfered with the patient-physician relationship when she discussed about alternative treatment with the patient without the physician knowledge.
The physician while attending to the patient just gave her only one alternative treatment for leukemia and did not mention other alternatives like reflexology and the use of laetrile. Even though these alternative treatments have not been sanctioned by the medical community, they ought to have been discussed by the physician to the patient before he settles on giving him the chemotherapy treatment.
All medical practitioners are legally and ethically obliged that they should ensure that before they settle in a particular treatment, they should have given adequate informed healthcare decisions to the patient together with a valid consent on the treatment. All the alternative treatment should include the risks and benefits in order for the patient to make an informed decision on the treatment. (Kerridge and McPhee, 2004)
Complementary and alternative medicine should not only be discussed
when the patient ask question on the alternative medicine but should be discussed every time the medical practitioner is discussing about CAM as the knowledge might be of significant to the patients. (Adams, Cohen, Eisenberg and Jonsen, 2003)
It is immaterial that the patient made a decision to take chemotherapy treatment because her son had advised her on the treatment. For that case, the physician ought to have taken the responsibility of advising the patient accordingly on the alternative treatment for leukemia even though they had not been approved by the medical community.
The issue of unprofessional conduct and interference with the patient-physician relationship by the nurse ought to be discussed by the state board for nursing. The nurse had gone beyond her scope of practice by giving advice to the patient behind the physician’s back. She ought to have discussed the patient concern with the physician and the physician would have advised the patient on the alternative treatment. The nurse since she was in her internship, she should be given a stern warning and the next time she repeat it, she should disciplined severely.
Adams, K. E, Cohen, M.H, Eisenberg D and Jonsen, A.R. (2003): Ethical considerations
of complementary and alternative medical therapies in conventional medical settings. Ann Intern Med 2003; 138: 660-664.
Brophy, E. (2003): Does a doctor have a duty to provide information and advice about
complementary and alternative medicine? J Law Med 2003; 10: 271-248.
Cohen, M. H. and Eisenberg, D.M. (2003): Potential physician malpractice liability
Associated with complementary and integrative medical therapies. Ann Intern Med 2002; 136: 596-603.
Kerridge, I. H and McPhee, J .R (2004): Complementary and alternative medicine:
Ethical and legal issues at the interface of complementary and conventional medicine, MJA 2004; 181 (3): 164-166
Kotsirilos, V. and Hassed, C. S et el. (2004): Ethical and legal issues at the interface of
complementary and conventional medicine. Med J August 2004; 181 (10): 581-582. Read More
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