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Health, Medicine, Nursing
Research Paper
English (U.S.)
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Applying Ethical Principles Health, Medicine, Nursing Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)


Select a case study and discuss the ethical dilemmas found in the case study.


Applying Ethical Principles
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Applying Ethical Principles
The case study selected for this paper is “Incident 9: The Missing Needle Protector.” The director of clinical services at Hopewell Hospital E. L. Straight assumed the position two years ago. He commissioned an audit about the quality of care offered to patients in the hospital to determine the areas that needed improvement. One Monday afternoon, the supervisor in charge of the operating room reported to Straight that she was almost certain that a plastic needle protector was left in the belly of Mrs. Jameson after undergoing a surgical procedure conducted by Dr. Cutrite. The once brilliant and dependable general surgeon Dr. Cutrite has been impeded by the deterioration of his mental and physical condition occasioned by old age. Dr. Straight ordered the patient be brought back to the operation room, but the supervisor informed him that the patient had been discharged two days earlier and gone home. Additionally, the supervisor disclosed to Straight that Dr. Cutrite was aware of the situation and was reluctant to call the patient back to the hospital or to make the matter known to the hospital management. After summoning the chief of surgery, Straight was informed that the risks of leaving the plastic protector in the belly included occasional discomfort without any life-threatening incidents, although sometimes things could escalate pretty quickly. Nonetheless, Straight was unwilling to engage in a direct confrontation with the politically powerful Dr. Cutrite, but he now had to make a difficult discussion about the issue.
The issue that presents an ethical challenge in the case study is the fact that Dr. Cutrite is declining clinically but is politically quite powerful, which makes Straight unwilling to confront him directly. Straight is made aware that Dr. Cutrite was negligent in performing his clinical duties by leaving a plastic needle sheath in the belly of Mrs Jameson. The chief of operations concurred with Cutrite that the issue could only cause occasional discomfort to the patient without leading to life-threatening emergencies. Nonetheless, there is a possibility that she could suffer serious complications in the future as a result of the plastic sheath in her stomach. Straight is obliged by the Code of Ethics of the American College of Healthcare Executives to “demonstrate zero tolerance for any abuse of power that compromises patients or others served” (American College of Healthcare Executives, 2019, p. 2). The health of the patient should not be compromised under any circumstances.

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