Jerry McCall case study
According to “Ethics Case Study”, Jerry McCall was an office assistant for Dr. Williams. The case argues that Jerry has been trained as a LPN (Licensed practical nurse) and a medical assistant. Jerry is asked to cover for the receptionist who is out for lunch. As usual, he is faced with a health care problem that is common in the in the field today. In this case, Jerry has been requested by a patient to a fill-up for Valium drugs from the pharmacy. In this paper, I will first address if Jerry is qualified to refill prescription medication. Secondly, I will examine if Jerry is protected in case a lawsuit is filled. I will as well explore the difference if would it make any difference if the medication entreated were for control of high blood pressure, which the client censoriously needs on a daily basis. Lastly, I will give my advice to jerry and identify major legal and ethical issues that may affect Jerry's decision. Then I will provide the problem-solving methods might be helpful to assist in making an ethical decision (Farlex, 2011).
Jerry is trained as a LPN and a medical assistant. He has also gained some little knowledge on the prescription of drugs. However, Jerry knows very well that even with his training, he is not certified to refill any prescription medication to patients. First, he knows that Valium is an addictive drug to many patients. He is also aware that he not allowed to refill any medical prescription. This is because jerry is not a medical doctor, pharmacist, dentist, or even a psychologist. Jerry has only been trained in LPN and knows that he is not allowed to refill any medication any patients ask for. The only thing that jerry can do when there are no more refills is to book the patient for another appointment to be seen by the physician (Farlex, 2011).
The patient was only asking for a refill for Valium medicine. Conversely, this patient may as well ask for a refill for high blood pressure medication. In cases where medical assistants have to refill, they first need to ask a medical doctor. According to Farlex 2011, the policy of respondent higher says that the employer is accountable for all actions of the employee.
In case a lawsuit is filed against Jerry, he will probably be protected. This is because according to the readings, Jerry technically did not carry out the own malpractice insurance nor did he relay on his employers insurance. However, Jerry has malpractice insurance, and he will, therefore, ask his insurance to hire an attorney who will represent him in the Board of Nursing. A lawsuit could be filed against Jerry if he either refill the Valium or does not refill. This is because jerry knows very well that he not allowed to refill any medication to patients, but he will be protected by his malpractice insurance (Farlex, 2011).
One thing that Jerry needs should understand, is that should he refill this medication to the patient, he will be risking losing his nursing license and his job too. Therefore, Jerry should clearly clarify to the patient that he is not the person who to refills prescription. He also needs to explain to the patient that he is not aware that the patient will be going out of town (Mackay, 2009).
When Jerry got off the phone, he should have gone to Dr. Williams and explain to him what the patient wanted and how he settled the situation. In conclusion, if more health care professionals who are not allowed to refill medication prescription practice the concept of non-maleficence, this will result to very serious malpractice. In addition, if healthcare facilities continue considering non-maleficence as the primary deliberation, they will be risking many patients’ lives. They need to protect all patients and assure them wellbeing and safety instead of allowing their fervent practitioners to do what they are not supposed to. These unqualified practitioners like Jerry do not care what will happen to the patients after their refill. There should be good evaluation report to ensure that these prescribed medications do not harm the patients. Many patients have resulted to severe allergies and some succumbing to death as a result of this medication (Farlex, 2011).
My advice to Jerry will be to tell the patient that he is not allowed to refill any medical prescription to patients. He should also assure the patient that he will tell the concerned physician about the patient concern, and they will call her back as soon as possible (Farlex, 2011).
Farlex, INC. (2011). Respondent superior, Retrieved Friday March 1, 2011 fromhttp://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Respondeat+superior
Mackay, T. (2006-2009). Worried About a Malpractice Lawsuit? The Board of Nurses Should Worry You More. Retrieved 08 Oct, 2012