Medication Ethical Dilemmas

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The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Studies show that medical errors are among the top ten causes of death in the United States. Providers are often hesitant about disclosing a medical error especially when it caused very minor injuries. However, there are ethical and legal implications to the decision, and both can take their toll on the provider involved. Ethical and Legal Implications Disclosure and nondisclosure of medication errors violate several ethical principles including autonomy, non-maleficence, and beneficence. The first covers two essential conditions: liberty and agency. Liberty is observed when a patient is allowed complete access to information pertaining to his or her medication (Hannawa, 2012). Hence,…show more content…
Practitioners face the risks of litigation and losing their licenses in addition to being singled out and humiliated. Such explains their tendencies to choose not to disclose errors to patients. The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act of Pennsylvania covers the conduct required of medical professionals in ensuring safety of their patients. Chapter 1 Section 101 (5) of the Act states that “every effort must be made to reduce and eliminate errors by identifying problems and implementing solutions that promote patient…show more content…
A written prescription for drugs must be printed legibly and contain these information: name of the prescribing practitioner, name and dosage, quantity of the drug in words and numbers, and direction for use (Velo & Minuz, 2009). The prescription should be dated and signed accordingly as though it was a legal document. In writing the prescription, abbreviations and dangerous dose expressions should be avoided. When applicable, a brief notation of purpose must be provided. Medical institutions can also prevent the onset of medication errors by adopting policies that promote acquisition of relevant information through error-reporting systems (Velo & Minuz, 2009). They should also look for ways to share criteria for the appropriateness of procedures. An automated prescribing system can serve as an effective tool for reducing medical errors although it may pose as a costly investment. Lastly, medical students and interns should be educated on error avoidance. My View on the Issue As an advanced practice nurse in the said scenario, I would choose to disclose the medication error to the patient involved. I believe that such is the right to do and has more benefits than the other

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