The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay

The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay

The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay

Prescription errors can have devastating health effects on a patient, or may not have any risks at all. The decision to disclose or not disclose errors lies with individual physician. Adverse incidents can occur from appropriate treatment plan executed correctly such as drug related side effects.

To avoid prescription error, medical professions need to focus on system approach including check lists, computerized ordering of medication, bar coding, as they are likely to improve the quality of care for the entire community and not just for an individual patient.The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay

Disclosure of medical errors has become the standard of care. Hospitals and physicians in particular are required by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Hospitals to tell patients when errors have occurred (Hannawa, 2012).

There are various ethical implications associated with non-disclosure of prescription errors. Failure to not disclose may harm the patient’s health significantly or may even lead to death, centrally to the intentions of physician. Not disclosing may also lead to law suits as the patient or family may discover such errors later on, or from a second opinion of a medical expert (Hannawa, 2012).

On the other hand, disclosure of prescription errors results to respect of the patient and concern for their health. It allows the physician and the patient to mutually mitigate the dangers of the errors. When a physician discloses error, the patient feels less anger as the physician openly takes responsibility. The disclosure improves the patient-physician relationship, which may be useful for future treatment.The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay

Various legislations exist to deal with prescription errors. The National Quality Forum mandate that, medical professionals should disclose facts, expresses regret, and apologizes in response to medical errors. Indiana protects statements of sympathy and not statements of fault even though they are made in milieu of an apology (Hannawa, 2012).

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If I personally made a prescription error, I would disclose to the patient as soon as I realize this error. I would disclose, express my regret that this error occurred, and fully elaborate the error to the patient and the consequences of this error and the steps that will be taken to mitigate the risks. This decision is guided by the fact that, the patient’s interest is paramount in achieving health objectives.

References
  • Hannawa, A.F. (2012). Principles of medical ethics: implications for the disclosure of medical errors. Mediolegal and Bioethics 2(1), 1-11. The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure Essay