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Medical errors in the hospital

Attached is a link to a newspaper article involving a medication error at a hospital. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013016258_infantdeath29m.html?syndication=rss

First, are there any ethical issues in this issue? Second, if so, what are they and what is your analysis of them?

Argue both sides of the issues basing arguments on ethical theories/ethical principles.

Please include the ethical principles of beneficence, nonmalificence, justice, autonomy and other principles that you see.


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Carol Ostrom's (2010) article described two cases of malpractice in medicine; but these situations go beyond the legal implications. Moral implications arose when both patients lacked autonomy, as they were unable to understand and agree with their treatment (Scalan, 2001). An eight-month baby and a 15 year old autistic boy depend on others to defend their rights as they are unable to comprehend and follow through on their own a treatment plan. Therefore, their well-being depends of those in charge of their care. In this case, both patients would have benefited of certain amount of paternalism. Paternalism is justified here because both patients were "at risk of a significant, preventable harm or loss of a benefit; the paternalistic action...[would had prevented] harm or obtain the benefit; [and] the projected benefits of the paternalistic action ...[outweighed] its risks to the person" (Beauchamp, 2008, ...

Solution Summary

The solution involves a detailed discussion of the moral implications arising from two cases of malpractice in medicine described in a newspaper article. The cases involve an eight-month baby and a 15 year old autistic boy victims of pharmaceutical errors. The cases are discusses through the ethical principles of beneficence, nonmalificence, justice and autonomy.