1. Define each of the following termsLawEthicsBioethical issue Give one example of law. For example, confidentiality is a law that all health professionals need to follow. They cannot divulge the information about patients to anyone—period! Not to family, friends or anyone outside the medical practice or they face criminal or civil liability (will talk about civil and criminal liability in a later chapter)Then ask students to give an example of a medical law that they know about. What would happen if the law was broken?Give one example of ethics. For example, physicians are supposed to treat all patients alike. Do you think they do? Explain.Ask students who are parents what they try to teach their children. Honesty, fairness, respect for othersGive an example of a bioethical issueFor example, abortion is legal in the United States; however, should a 10 y.o. who is pregnant be able to receive an abortion without parental consent? It might be legal in our state but is it ethical?Have students turn to page 5 in their textbook:What are some of the bioethical issues discussed in this chapter?Is the text missing some other important bioethical issues in health care?When comparing law, ethics and bioethics, answer the following questions:Can an ethic be unlawful?Can a law be unethical?
A 32 year old woman was admitted to the Trauma Intensive Care Unit following a motor vehicle accident; she had multiple injuries and fractures, with several complications which continued to develop over the first couple of weeks. The patient rapidly developed adult respiratory distress syndrome, was on a ventilator, and was continuously sedated. Shortly after the patient’s admission, her parents were contacted and remained vigilant at her bedside. The parents reported that the patient was one month away from having her divorce finalized. The patient’s husband was reportedly physically and emotionally abusive to her throughout their five years of marriage. The parents had not notified this man of the patient’s hospitalization, and reported that a visit by him would be distressing to the patient if she were aware of it. The patient’s soon to be ex-husband is her legal next of kin.Should the husband be responsible for treatment decisions which the patient cannot make?What are the legal and ethical parameters?
Turn to page 6 in your textbook.Why do we need to study law, ethics and bioethics? Why does a medical assistant or medical receptionist need to know about law, ethics, or bioethics?What are the relevant factors that contribute to the complexity of bioethical issues in medicine? Page 6-7.
Show students the Appendices where the Codes of Ethics are given.What are the similarities and differences in the AAMA and AMA codes? Which code do you prefer?Are the codes straight forward and easy to interpret? Go over the Ethics CheckIs it legal?Does it promote a win-win?How would I feel if it were published in the local newspaper?Explain how it worksGive an example and have students apply the Ethics Check.
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Law: societal rules that are advisable or obligatory to observe; designed to protect the welfare and safety of society; must be obeyed under penaltyEthics: set of moral standards & codes of behavior that guild how we actBioethics: moral issues that arise as result of modern medicine & research<br />
When the law and ethics overlap <br />Access to medical care<br />Informed consent<br />Confidentiality & exceptions<br />Advance directives<br />Abortion<br />Physician assisted suicide<br />
Philosophical principles to guide medical ethics<br />Autonomy: patient ‘s right to chose<br />Justice: treating patient fairly<br />Beneficence: obligation to help<br />Nonmalfeasence: do no harm<br />Fidelity: keeping promises<br />
Codes of Ethics<br />American Association of Medical Assistants<br />Principles of Medical Ethics: American Medical Associationpage 242<br />