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Ethical Dilemmas in Patient Care and Treatment Recommendations

Aug 2, 2023 | 0 comments

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Aug 2, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

The first case chosen for the study is whether physicians should offer recommendations based on experience but contrary to current practice guidelines by Beth and Kren. In this case, a patient Mr. S goes to meet his doctor, Dr. O. During the visit, Mr. S requests Dr. O to recommend his statins because in the past he had a lifestyle modification (Beth and Karen, 2018). However, there has been no positive change, but rather elevated low-density and high-density lipoprotein that is lower than normal. In his response, Dr. O feels that Mr. S should continue living a modified life. He uses his life experience and that of his other patients to discourage Mr. S from the drug.


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The case presents two major issues; the first one is based on how physicians should help patients make treatment recommendations. The second issue is the role of both the patient and the physician in making treatment decisions. In this case, Dr. O uses his personal life to help Mr. S to avoid using a statin. He mentions that he had earlier had complications as a result of using the health to ensure the safety of prescribed drugs. This paper discuss the recall of tetrazepam drug. By using his personal experience, Dr. O raises some ethical principles. The first ethical principle is truthfulness. He was honest with his patient concerning the effects of the internet also promotes establishment of illegal pharmacies that may be dealing in unapproved or recalled drugs. Besides, online drug. The other principle is confidentiality. In medical practice, it is important that certain issues are kept private and should not be exposed to patients. Dr. O uses his patients’ information or condition to convince Mr. S against the drug.

Mr. S and Dr. O have had a long-term relationship. Dr. O was their family doctor and presently, he is treating Mr. S and his three children. Before he started his treatment for the day, they had a social talk which confirms that there was a personal relationship. The close relationship they had might have influenced his decision to use his personal story and that of his patients to convince Mr. S against the regulations. If I was in Dr. O’s situation; I would have limited the influence of the personal relationship in my professional work. Instead, I would have employed other ways that do not involve use violation of any regulation.

The second case discusses how physicians can respectfully counsel a vegan patient with (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) IBD and benefit from the supplements. In this case, there is a young lady, Kate, who is a committed vegan. However, during her bloodwork, her doctor, Dr. C notices that she has low levels of iron, calcium, and folic acid, and he relates these symptoms to her condition of feeling tired (Elizabeth and Kayhan, 2018). Kate is seen to inquire from Dr. C about the best vegetable she can eat to help her gain the specific nutrients. Dr. C in his response advises Kate that the fastest way to gain the nutrients is to take their supplements. Kate, however, insists that she does not want to take the supplements because she is aware they contain animal products.

The major issue, in this case, is how Dr.C advises Kate to take the supplements knowing that they contain animal products. The ethical principle in the case is autonomy. Kate believes that as an animal lover she should not be eating animal products. After watching documentaries and reading an article, Kate found a good plant vegan diet. She learned that by being a vegan, she would acquire adequate nutrients and she will get health benefits such as treatment and prevention of certain diseases (Elizabeth and Kayhan, 2018). Dr. C understands Kate’s position but still feels that she has a unique condition of IBD that may require her to take supplements rich in iron and calcium. In this case, Kate has made a decision, but Dr. C is the external influence.

If I was in the position of Dr. C.; I would try to understand Kate’s involvement or stand in her diet goal as a vegan. Knowing that people decide to become vegans based on different reasons, a physician needs to understand his or her patient before deciding to introduce them to supplements. Even though Kate did not have spiritual issues regarding animal products, she was committed to her course as a vegan. After realizing that Kate had a strong commitment, as a physician, I would study her diet history before researching some of the vegan diets that can provide the needed nutrients (Rowe & Moodley, 2013). Also, I would not assume other factors or reasons that could have led to her drop in the levels of the said nutrients. Lastly, I would demonstrate total commitment in trying to understand her health and values (Rowe & Moodley, 2013). I would then look for a vegan diet that would address her nutritional recommendations. I will as well work with her to help her identify what she can do without having to sacrifice her values and at the same time improve her health.


Beth A. Lown, MD and Karen E. Victor, MD Should a Physician Offer Recommendations Based on Experience but Contrary to Current Practice Guidelines? https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/should-physician-offer-recommendations-based-experience-contrary-current-practice-guidelines/2018-11

Elizabeth Southworth and Kayhan Parsi, JD, Ph.D. How Should a Physician Counsel a Vegan Patient With IBD Who Might Benefit From Supplements? https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/how-should-physician-counsel-vegan-patient-ibd-who-might-benefit-supplements/2018-11

Rowe, K., & Moodley, K. (2013). Patients as consumers of health care in South Africa: the ethical and legal implications. BMC Medical Ethics, (1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6939-14-15

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