The hospital violated both the rights and responsibilities of the nurse
The ethical issue in this case is negligence by physician who failed to give orders leading to the death of the patient. The nurse, who was eager to help her patient, appears to have her hands tied since she could not give drugs to the patient without directions from the physician. Even though she knew that the patient needed antibiotics, she did not have the power to give the drugs to the patient without following the physician advice. It is a requirement that she gets directions from the physician but in this case, the physician failed to give any directions whatsoever. The nurse raised the issue with the director of nursing and chief of staff. However, it was too late since even though the chief of staff treated the patient, the patient ultimately died. The legal issue pertains to unlawful termination of the nurse from her work. The nurse was discharged not because she failed to execute her duties but because she did not stay away from the case as directed by her seniors. Every employee needs to be protected from employers who use their authority to intimidate them. Therefore, the law has to protect the nurse from being out of job because she did her duties as required by the Nursing Practice Act. The hospital had not right to discharge her and she deserves to be reinstated and compensated for unlawful termination. Another legal issue in this case is the actions by hospital directing the nurse from making any comments about the hospital. The hospital did not have any right to direct the nurse from talking about what she knew happened to the patient. The hospital here is being engaged in protecting its reputation at the expense of service delivery. The hospital is required by law to serve the interest of the patient, but here the hospital is more concerned about its reputation even when a patient died because of its physician’s negligence. The public policy requires the members of the public to be protected from misleading information. In this case, the public has every right to know what happened to the patient that caused the death. When the nurse is gagged from talking about this issue, other people might suffer the same consequences when they take their patients and the same physician or another fail to do their work.
The hospital violated both the rights and responsibilities of the nurse. To begin with, the hospital violated the right of the nurse to fair and lawful termination. It discharged her because she did not follow its command to stay away from the case. The hospital did not conduct any hearing in order to dig deep into the matter and know what went wrong that the patient died. However, it was reactive to the situation and it did not end well. Additionally, the nurse did not have a chance to explain herself. The hospital violated the responsibilities of the nurse in that the hospital did not want her to serve the interests of the patient. Public policy requires the nurse to serve the interests of the patient and not that of the hospital. When the hospital came in between the nurse and her responsibility to serve the patient interests then it violated her responsibilities as a nurse. The hospital is supposed to give the nurse a conducive environment in which she can serve her patients. In this case, the hospital seems interested with its reputation and not what the nurse is mandated to do.
The nurse’s professional code of ethics would support her action. The code of ethics clearly stipulates that the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient (VCU Health, 2019). The interest of the patient supersedes any other form of interest and as such, the nurse will always be required to put the interests of the patient first. The nurse in this case did all her best to ensure that the patient received the care deserved. She went out of her way to fulfill this requirement despite knowing that it could lead to her termination. She did not have any selfish interests and just wanted to see that the patient got the best care. The code of ethics also requires her to protect the right of the patient and she did all the best to ensure the patient got the care and was treated. When the patient died because of lack of proper treatment the nurse stood by her patient and spoke about it. She did not stay out of the matter as the hospital wanted. The nurse was absolutely guided by nurse’s code of ethics and could not be swayed away from her course of action. Finally, the nurse’s code of ethics requires her to take responsibility, accountability, and authority of nursing practice. The nurse as per this code of ethics had every right to take necessary steps to give the patient nursing care. She had the authority to talk about what she thought was the right thing to do. She demonstrated accountability when she took this case of the patient since she knew her responsibilities as a nurse and did her best to fulfill them (VCU Health, 2019).The hospital violated both the rights and responsibilities of the nurse
VCU Health, V. (2019). American Nurses Association Code of Ethics | VCU Health. Retrieved from https://www.vcuhealth.org/for-medical-professionals/nursing/about-nursing-at-vcu/ana-code-ethics