Ethics Aids Patients
Can he refuse to assist in this procedure? The dental assistant cannot refuse to assist in this procedure. Besides it being unethical to refuse helping this patient solely because he has AIDS it is also illegal (Anderson, 2009). Dental assistants are bound by a code of professional conduct, adopted in August 2007 by the Dental Assistants National Board.
Justice and fairness is one of the codes of conduct. This states the dental assistant has a duty to treat people fairly, behaving in a manner free from bias or discrimination on any basis.
All DANB individuals must abide by the code of professional conduct and must maintain high standards of ethics and excellence. Violating this code may result in disciplinary actions and imposition of sanctions as listed below. (DANB CC, 2007) a. deny or revoke the Respondent’s eligibility, certification, or recertification b. suspend Respondent’s certification for a period of time; c. require the Respondent to engage in remedial education and/or training, or to perform community service; d. require the Respondent, if Certified, to participate in a mandatory audit of continuing education for a period of time; e.
ecommend that DANB take legal action against the Respondent; f. assess a disciplinary fine; or g. take a combination of any of the above actions or such other action that may be deemed appropriate in the particular circumstances. (DANB DP, 2007) The dental assistant has a moral obligation to the patient and his colleagues to treat this patient as he would any other patient. The golden rule is always a good motto. Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you. His professionalism will be questioned as well.
If he refuses to assist in the procedure, he puts the dentist and the dental practice in a position where they also could be sued for discrimination under the ADA Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 2. What role would risk-management play in this case? “Risk management would play the role of identifying, analyzing and evaluating the risks and selecting the best method to deal with them”(Towsley-Cook, 2007). In this case, identifying there may be a risk of transmitting AIDS along with the chance the patient may not receive high quality patient care.Taking this into account the risk manager must make sure that staff is educated and trained in universal precautions (standard precautions). Staff that is educated is less likely to have misconceptions about HIV, the transmission of it and have a more positive response to those with HIV. Standard precautions are a set of infection control practices used to prevent transmission of diseases that can be acquired by contact with blood, body fluids, non-intact skin (including rashes), and mucous membranes.
These measures are to be used when providing care to all individuals, whether or not they appear infectious or symptomatic (Borlaug, 2010). Universal (standard) precautions involve hand washing and the use of protective barriers such as gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, or protective eyewear which can reduce the risk of exposure of the health care worker’s skin or mucous membranes to potentially infective materials (Department of Health, 1999). Practicing standard precautions addresses the risk of transmitting AIDS and making sure the patient receives high quality of care along with avoiding losses that may incur from either of these issues.Using these precautions assures all patients, regardless of whether they have an infectious disease or not, receive the same high quality of care. Patients that receive quality health care are more likely to be satisfied and remain patients at the facility and not sue the facility. 3. How does the” antidiscrimination statute” apply to this case? The antidiscrimination statute in this case refers to AIDS discrimination (refusing to treat a person with AIDS) being illegal throughout the United States under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973(Towsley-Cook, 2007).
Antidiscrimination statutes are in place to make sure that no person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability (AIDS is considered a disability); socioeconomic status, religion or creed will be denied the benefits of medical treatment or be subjected to discrimination(Towsley-Cook, 2007). This doesn’t just apply to medical treatment but for this case it does. 4. Describe which ethical” school of thought” you would subscribe to as it relates to this case and why. I would subscribe to the virtue ethics school of thought in this case.Choosing to assist in the procedure is the morally right thing to do. We know that using standard precautions virtually eliminates any chance of getting AIDS in this case.
By eliminating the fear of getting AIDS, the concentration can now be on helping the patient. Also, the consequences for not helping could be detrimental to the patient, the dental assistant, the dentist and the facility. So it is “incorporating both teleology and deontology to solve this ethical dilemma”(Towsley-Cook, 2007).We choose to do the right thing and also take into consideration the long term consequences of the action.Anderson, B. A. (2009).
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