Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care
Running Head: ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES IN HEALTH CARE Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care [Writer Name] [Institute Name] ? Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care Pharmacists offer various intermediary and vital services in medicine. Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, their scope of practice, duties and responsibilities have shifted dramatically, as have the situations in which pharmacists practice (Pharmacists Defence Association, 2008, p. ). The laws pertaining to these shifting roles and increased responsibilities have failed to emerge in due time (Appelbe, 2002; Appelbe, 2009). Accordingly, they lag behind reality. For example, pharmacists provide care in case of emergencies but also suffer from lack of legal protection from malpractice in such situations, face ethical challenges relative to dispensing some forms of pharmaceuticals and providing consultations for patients (PDA, 2008, p. 2, 3).
More importantly, perhaps, the rise of large-scale pharmacies has alternately shifted the role of pharmacists in the pharmaceutical sector from owner to employee (p. 3). Even though this changed the insurance burdens for the pharmacists, it has not shielded them from civil suits (Appelbe, 2009). Rather, legal protections afforded physicians do not apply to pharmacists, in many cases (PDA, 2008, p. 2-4). This challenges pharmacists for numerous reasons especially since pharmacists find themselves in a legally marginal place while providing necessary care.
Ethics, roles, and scope of practice understandably then exceed the legal recognition thereof and the protections that should be afforded pharmacists (p. 2-4). While pharmacists actively intervening within medical emergencies and providing care and/or pharmaceuticals to patients falls within the scope of duty given the ethics of the profession and their training, these interventions additionally place the pharmacists in a legally precarious place. As demonstrated by the rise in the pharmacists’ legal association, the rise in suits against pharmacists, ither employed by large stores or pharmacies and/or sole owners have illuminated the vulnerability of their intermediary role. After all, pharmacists are charged with care and dispensing medicines. They must know the differences between formulas including the emergent biologics, and “do no harm. ” Given the alternatives in medical emergencies, one must wonder whether failure to act is conversely negligence, misconduct and/or malpractice, by extension. It would more likely reflect negligence.
References Appelbe, F. R. (2002). Law and ethics and changing jobs. Pharmcist Defence Association. Retrieved from http://www. the-pda. org/advice_centre/category. html? ac_id=2. (2009). Legal test case affects employee pharmacist. Pharmcist Defence Association. Retrieved from http://www. the-pda. org/advice_centre/articletype. html? at_id=13&ad_type=0 Pharmacist Defence Association. (2008 Fall). The launch of PDA. Insight Magazine. Retrieved From http://www. the-pda. org/pdf/insight/insight1. pdf