The case under discussions exemplifies common mistakes of a health care worker. A nurse shares her medical experience with her colleagues. First of all, she mentions constant complaints of her patient, Mrs.Fraser. Then she tells them about treating the woman with some medicaments without informing her. Taking into consideration the described details, one can point out the grave violations of the ethical code that can be regarded as a civil wrong.
First of all, this case illustrates an example of a neglect of the patient’s interests. It is evident that all the actions of the nurse were motivated by her inner desires and performed serving her own advantages against the patient’s ones. Mrs.Fraser’s ignorance of the treatment she received along with the colleagues’ awareness of the woman’s complaints by no means contributes to the patient’s benefit.
Moreover, one of the primary patient’s rights is the right to self-determination. This right implies a people’s justice to determine the treatment process they undergo. It means that any patient is enabled to demand a full and detailed description of all the measures taken in the course of the treatment including the choice of procedures and medicines. The patient can also require any kind of explanations and specifications as well as a consultation with other health professionals if necessary. Patients have a legal right to take an active part in any decision-making process. They might ask for nurses’ assistance in understanding the fundamental questions such as advantages and disadvantages of a treatment course, the possible consequences, the cost-effectiveness of certain measures. Nevertheless, the final decision is a patient’s prerogative. The limitation of this right is admitted in urgent cases only (Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements, 2014). Therefore, before setting up a PCA system the nurse must have supplied Mrs.Fraser with a precise description of this procedure. She should have initially explained its purpose as well as its effect and the possible side effects. The system could have been set up on the condition that the woman had given her agreement. The nurse’s excuse that she wanted to avoid the patient’s objections serves as a signal of her incompetence.
Furthermore, the nurse’s open discussion of the patient’s complaints seems to be another grave violation of the individual’s moral rights. The obligation to safeguard a person’s right to privacy is among the major concerns of a health care worker. While experiencing physical problems, one is obliged to let a stranger in the private life, opening up the facts the patient would love to keep in secret under different circumstances. Thereupon, it is highly important that patients can entrust their worries to a nurse, being fully convinced that this information will not be disclosed. Any data on the patient’s well-being and the provided treatment details can be transmitted only at the request of the relevant specialists (Fry, 2006). Thus, the nurse’s narration about Mrs. Fraser’s demands is a violation of the woman’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Apart from the public announcement of the patient’s complaints, the nurse has also revealed the specifics of the treatment process, which can be considered as a disclosure of medical secrecy.
The neglect of medical ethic norms can lead to a series of undesirable effects. Such violations of the human’s rights as disclosure of the private information can turn out to be jeopardizing the patient’s safety (Stahlman, 1990, p.167).
Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements. (2014). Web.
Fry, S., & Veatch, R. (2006). Case studies in nursing ethics. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Stahlman, M. (1990). Ethical issues in the nursery: Priorities versus limits. The Journal Of Pediatrics, 116(2), 167-170. Web.