Ethical And Legal Implications Of Prescribing Drugs
What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient? How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?
These are some of the questions you might consider when selecting a treatment plan for a patient.
As an advanced practice nurse prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives every day. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced practice nurses with prescriptive authority. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the treatment plans and administration/prescribing of drugs is in accordance with the regulations of the state in which you practice. Understanding how these regulations may affect the prescribing of certain drugs in different states may have a significant impact on your patient’s treatment plan. In this Assignment, you explore ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.
- Review the Resources for this module and consider the legal and ethical implications of prescribing prescription drugs, disclosure, and nondisclosure.
- Review the scenario assigned by your Instructor for this Assignment.
- Search specific laws and standards for prescribing prescription drugs and for addressing medication errors for your state or region, and reflect on these as you review the scenario assigned by your Instructor.
- Consider the ethical and legal implications of the scenario for all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
- Think about two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your ethically and legally responsible decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose any medication errors.
Write a 3-page paper that addresses the following:
- Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
- Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
- Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation.
- Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.
Reminder: The College of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.
Expert Solution Preview
In this scenario, as a medical professor responsible for creating assignments and providing feedback to medical college students, I will address the ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs for patients. The well-being of patients and adherence to professional, legal, and ethical standards are crucial aspects of clinical practice. Additionally, understanding state regulations related to prescribing is essential for providing appropriate treatment plans to patients.
1. What type of drug should you prescribe based on your patient’s diagnosis?
The type of drug to prescribe should be determined based on the patient’s diagnosis and clinical guidelines for that condition. The drug should be aligned with evidence-based practice and have a proven efficacy in treating the diagnosed condition. It is essential to consider the patient’s medical history, allergies, and potential drug interactions before prescribing a specific medication.
2. How much of the drug should the patient receive?
The dosage of a drug should be determined based on factors such as the patient’s weight, age, renal and hepatic functions, and other individual patient characteristics. It is crucial to follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided by the drug manufacturer and consider any specific dosage adjustments required for the patient’s specific condition.
3. How often should the drug be administered?
The frequency of drug administration should be determined based on the drug’s pharmacokinetics, therapeutic goal, and patient compliance. It is important to consider the drug’s half-life and duration of action in order to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Patient education and clear instructions should be provided regarding the frequency and timing of drug administration to ensure proper adherence.
4. When should the drug not be prescribed?
The drug should not be prescribed in situations where it may pose significant risks or contraindications for the patient. Contraindications may include allergies to the drug or its components, drug-drug interactions, or conditions where the drug could potentially worsen the patient’s health. It is important to thoroughly review the patient’s medical history, perform a comprehensive assessment, and consider these contraindications before prescribing any medication.
5. Are there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking the drug?
Yes, there can be individual patient factors that may increase the risk of complications when taking a particular drug. Factors such as age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, coexisting medical conditions, concurrent drug therapies, or genetic variations may affect drug metabolism, efficacy, or safety in specific patients. It is important to assess and consider these individual patient factors to ensure the safe and effective use of the prescribed medication.
6. Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient?
As an advanced practice nurse, the decision to prescribe drugs to a patient should be based on a comprehensive assessment, knowledge of evidence-based practice, and adherence to professional, legal, and ethical standards. If it is within the scope of practice and legal authority, and if the benefits outweigh the risks, then prescribing drugs may be appropriate. However, it is important to continually evaluate the patient’s response to the medication and make adjustments as necessary.
7. How might different state regulations affect the prescribing of this drug to this patient?
Different states may have varying regulations regarding prescribing drugs, including limitations on prescriptive authority, controlled substance regulations, and specific requirements for certain medications. It is important to be aware of and adhere to these regulations to ensure legal compliance and patient safety. Understanding state regulations is crucial in determining the appropriate prescribing practices and ensuring adherence to the standards of care in a specific jurisdiction.