Legal and Ethical Responsibilities in Healthcare


The case presents a dilemma, with the doctor not sure what to do with the patient after two family members suggested specific proposals. The medic is not keenly considering the history of the patient and falls to the advice of the children. From the account published in Duquesne University School of Nursing (n.d), the patient overdosed never ate well, and regularly forgot to take her drugs. There is a need for advanced medical care to correct the mistakes made before exploring new treatment methods. The health personnel is concerned about how difficult it is to please the patient, owing to her numerous demands. The patient’s son recommends that the drugs used in the last six months are not the best for now and provides an option which the doctor agrees to by trying a Nafion. This situation bears bioethical considerations from ethics, history, and theological concepts. Critical concerns to deal with the case include exploring ethical issues arising from the situation, such as i) failure to examine the patient for treatment ii) listening to non-medical doctors iii) poor administration of drugs iv) negligence. This essay explores how the nurses manipulated the patient’s situation, what ethical aspects they ignored, and determines a solution to the case.

Main body

Healthcare laws about the situation guide decisions made and ethical issues of the healthcare profession. The case presents misdeeds from various professionals towards the patient and her condition. Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists must unite to care for the patient, hence considering the laws in the three sub-professions. According to Haddad and Geiger (2020), the first law respects the patient, which the nurses least regarded. The published incident indicated that the nurses started complaining about the patient’s demands, a rare occurrence in the nursing profession (Johnson & Potter, n.d.). Whether or not the patient has higher than usual demands, the medical team must listen to her and provide care reasonably within their ability. Second, there should be the protection of the patient’s safety by proper examination, prescribing the appropriate drugs, and conducting the suited medical examination. The doctor listened to the patient’s children instead of making informed decisions that would less likely lead to medical complications witnessed.

The third law is standing firm on decision making, being accountable, and giving medics authority to decide without influence. According to Haddad and Geiger (2020), the doctor ignored doing an examination and chose to provide the patient with a drug that severely affected the body. It is unlawful to rely on family members in complex medical decisions that can affect a patient’s health. Additionally, the pharmaceutical department knew the effects of Naflon and never advised on the best option to use. They could declare the family, colleagues, and the patient on its use. Doing so prevents cases of severe after-effects after using the drug for treatment.

Ethical principles merge with laws guiding the medical profession to deliver undoubted care to patients. From the scenario, identifiable ethical issues include negligence by medical officers, failure to remain accountable, a nasty attitude towards the patient, and an unsafe working environment. However, these ethical issues touch on various professionals within the facility; they are cumulative listings of the case’s critical concerns. Negligence occurs when they choose to listen to the son and daughter or decide not to examine the patient’s proper condition to find which drug could work best in the recuperation process (Johnson & Potter, n.d.). The attitude presented by the nurses of wanting to stop due to demands does not align with the concepts of law explained. It is against the rule that a patient is demanding more than can be provided by medical experts.

Recommendations for a solution should address the critical cases identified. Based on Hoskins et al. (2018) ‘s article, the ethical values ignored should be the first to be corrected, and a guideline is provided to lead the medical experts in handling recurring cases. Hall et al. (2018) mentioned that explicit details requiring solutions include the practitioners’ attitude, incompetence by the curative professional, and safety of the patient rights. These will require responses to solve, including nurses’ training to develop an apt attitude in the hospital setup. According to Hoskins et al. (2018), the nurses’ attitude must conform to the requirements of the broader healthcare system in the country and the world. Nurses and other workers must have the right and tolerant concern for every patient. Demands are from the condition of the patients making them ask for more than can be provided. As illustrated by Kadivar et al. (2017), it is within the prerogative of the nurses to understand this situation, tolerate it, and provide regular help to the patient. Sometimes they could have better ways of addressing this with the entire healthcare management than despite the patient demanding much.

The doctor’s incompetence is evident when he fails in examining the best steps to follow when taking care of the sick. The doctor’s ignorance about the drug and choosing a different one that affected the sick was out of order. In the same line, the patient’s condition worsened after using the drug. This does not align with the rules of protection of the patients’ safety. The solution is to train all other colleagues to identify any sources of errors when offering medical care. This keeps the healthcare facility’s integrity high as they share skills, help each other follow the guidelines, and point where mistakes would occur.

Additionally, consultation with pharmacologists should provide a guide on the medicines to use. It would be simpler to identify the after-effects of a drug and choose the one that best fits a situation. The resources and dependencies for this recommendation include proper communication tools and cooperation among the experts. They need talented human resources who can share knowledge and be role models within the institution.


In conclusion, there are various ethical issues and examples of negligence in the studied cases. These include mean attitude, improper examination, poor decision-making, and incompetence. A medical facility has more than one professional, making it difficult to blame one specific group. Ethical values demand that every employee of an institution work according to the provided regulations for the best results. Some ethical issues identified include protection and safety of the patient, imprudent attitude, dangerous working conditions, and unaccountability. Ignoring the merited procedures and not relying on individual skills led to a devastating effect on the patient. A solution to the case requires that the errors observed be addressed solidly through training. Interpersonal relationships develop through the training of people from various disciplines, as was the case. When addressed, the medical facility has to respond by providing the best care to the patient. Finally, lack of consultation within the medical facility leaves leeway for several blunders in the facility.


Duquesne University School of Nursing. (n.d). Ethical issues in nursing: Eplanations & solutions

Hall, H., Brosnan, C., Cant R., Collins, M., Leach, M. (2018). Nurses’ attitudes and behaviour towards patients’ use of complementary therapies: A mixed methods study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 74(7), 1649–1658.

Haddad, L., M., & Geiger R., A. (2020). Nursing ethical considerations. StatPearls Publishing.

Hoskins, K., Grady, C., & Ulrich, C. (2018). Ethics education in nursing: Instruction for future generations of nurses. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1).

Johnson, L., & Potter, R. (n.d). Case studies: Walking the tightrope. Web.

Kadivar, M., Manookian, A., Asghari, F., Niknafs, N., Okazi, A., & Zarvani, A. (2017). Ethical and legal aspects of patient’s safety: A clinical case report. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 10(15).

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