In small rural town, Dr. McCann works as a primary care physician. He is part of a large integrated health care system that operates as a no-profit entity. Dr. McCann normally visits numerous patients per day that has a variety of ailment and injuries.
On Monday, a 52-year-old male patient visits Dr. McCann with a complaint of ankle pain in his left leg. While out on the farm doing chores, he fell and has bruises on both legs, a few cuts, and what appears to be a swollen left ankle. Having seen many sprained ankles, the doctor suggests taking pressure off the ankle and foot by using a walking boot that inflates and suggests ibuprofen for the swelling.
On Friday, the patient is in the emergency room. He is suffering from a fever, shaking, low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and appears to be very agitated. The patient explains his recent trip to Dr. McCann and the nurses remove his walking boot and began examining him. They notice an infected cut on the opposite leg. Unfortunately, things get worse as the patient goes into septic shop. On Sunday, the patient dies due to complete organ failure.
As expected, the family is devastated and needs understanding of how a small cut has led to the death of their loved one. Dr. McCann is now caught between a rock and a hard place. The hospital is putting pressure on him to apologize, hoping they can avoid legal issues. Dr. McCann must consider his professional career, however. If he admits that he may have made a mistake, he could face legal issues himself and professional loss as well. He also must consider how his patients and colleagues will view him.
Using critical thought and follow the SOAP method. Research and respond to the questions. Make sure you have a APA style bibliography.
Question 1: What could Dr. McCann and/ or the hospital have done differently? Was this mistake preventable?
Question 2: Does Dr. McCann have an ethical obligation to admit error? What are the possible benefits to admitting fault? What are some negatives for admission of the error?
Question 3: Based on research, if you were the administrator of the hospital, what would you do? Would you require that Dr. McCann apologize to the patients family and explain to them what went wrong? What are the risks to doing so?
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