Dr. Lance is in a resilient position because she has a decision to make. Dr.
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Lance knows that Mr. Battin is shorting prescriptions, and she knows that it is morally wrong for him to be doing this. Mr. Battin is the owner of the pharmacy, so she might be hesitant to inform the department that he has been lying and cheating his patients out of their full prescriptions. She could just pretend not to notice that he is doing this and turn a blind eye.. Mr. Battin is choosing his pharmacies wellbeing over his patients. Although he’s choosing his pharmacy, he does not realize he is breaking the trust between his patients and himself, which is a very important key in running a business. You want to have trust with your patients. Dr. Batten isn’t considering the principle of beneficence. He is not bringing out the good in his patients, but he is rather providing them with harm. Dr. Lance should feel that she has a moral obligation to her patient’s trust. The trust in her profession of pharmacy is being threatened by Mr. Battin’s faulty practice. She should realize that her responsibilities are more complex and she should take the best interest in the patients wellbeing.
I believe that the right decision for Dr. Lance to take is to report Mr. Battin and then inform all of the patients that have been shorted by him. Even with all his excuses and him saying that he is only shorting maintenance prescriptions, or that the patients come in for a refill before they run out, still does not make this morally acceptable. Mr. Battin is taking away these patient’s rights. In an article I read called The Five Rights of Medication Administration, the Vice President of the Safe Medication Practices (SMP), Judy Smetzer, talks about the five rights. These five rights are the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time. She talks about how we are quick to blame a nurse or practitioner when the five rights are broken. She simply states that the five rights should be followed as a goal and not a strict rule or law. I agree with Judy in this aspect because not all of the time is there a mistake made on purpose. But patients do have these simple five rights to ensure their being treated fairly and getting the best outcome. In this case with Mr. Battin, he knows that he is shorting people’s medications and he knows that it is morally wrong, but still continues to do it.
It seems to me that Mr. Battin didn’t even considering any of the harm that could possibly happen to his patients. He nonchalantly states, It’s really a shame that advice column printed that letter. We’ll have to stop shorting maintenance prescriptions for a while until people get over the excitement and the need to count every prescription. This shows that Mr. Battin has no remorse for the wrongdoing he has committed. In this case, he is only thinking about himself. He thinks that just because he’s shortening the maintenance prescriptions and that most have insurance, he isn’t doing anything wrong.
Mr. Battin is taking away his patient’s right to justice. It is unjust to short patients of their prescriptions just because they are maintenance prescriptions. He should be treating all his patients the same whether the different prescriptions are important or not. These patients are here getting cheated out of four pills in which they have paid for. Even if it is an insurance company paying for it, still, someone is still paying for something the patient is not getting. Mr. Janowski said, No offense meant, you understand. I just can’t afford to pay for pills and not get them. In this case, he is actually hurting his patient who is directly paying for his medications. Mr. Janowski has three different cardiac maintenance medications, and let’s put into perspective the fact that he is an elderly patient. For example, Mr. Janowski can’t drive and someone drives him around. He might have planned to visit the Pharmacy and refill his pills on the day when he is taking his last pill. Since he was shorted four pills, he could have realized that he was short four days and maybe drove himself to the pharmacy. He could have put himself in danger along with everyone else around him. This is another example of Mr. Battin not in the favor of utility. he is not bringing out the favorable balance of good over the bad. He might think he’s doing so because he’s saving the department tablets, but not in the instance of the patient. He should be making sure they get their full, precise amount of prescriptions.
Dr. Lance should report Mr. Battin and tell the truth. The truth should be told because it is a right, a utility, and a kindness. With Kantian ethics, Dr. Lance would be doing the morally right thing by telling the truth even if it produces some bad, like Mr. Batten being fired or suspended. She may not know the outcome, but if she were to lie and bad things happen, it’s just as much her fault as it is Mr. Battin’s. I believe that telling a lie is wrong no matter what and will always have a negative consequence. Universality would agree because judgements apply in all circumstances, big or small. In this case, this is a big deal because he could physically harm a patient and other’s around, or close to, that patient. Either decision she makes, Mr. Battin is not doing the morally correct thing. Dr. Lance has to decide if she wants to do the morally right thing or just turn her head and allow him to continue his malpractice with these patients. It’s not reasonable for her to keep it to herself because if she reported Mr. Battin, she is helping out more than one patient, the pharmacy altogether, and herself. If she were to keep it to herself, she is only helping Mr. Battin. So again, she needs to utilize her patient’s wellbeing over Mr. Battin’s corruption, and produce the maximum good over bad.
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