Ethics in the Trenches: Part 2. Case Studies of Ethical Challenges in Emergency Medicine
Campbell, Sam G
CJEM : Canadian journal of emergency medical care = JCMU : journal canadien de soins médicaux d'urgence 2004 Sep ; 6(5): 363-6
Unique ethical issues arise in the practice of emergency medicine, and common ethical problems are often more difficult to address in the emergency department than in other medical settings. This article is Part 2 of the Series "Ethics in the Trenches" and it presents and analyses 2 cases--each dealing with an ethical challenge that emergency physicians are likely to encounter. The first case deals with patient refusal of care. When a patient refuses recommended care, the emergency physician must ensure the patient's decision is informed and that the patient comprehends the implications of his or her choice. The second case deals with patient involvement in criminal activities. Emergency physicians often encounter patients who have engaged in illegal activities. Although certain activities must be reported, physicians should be mindful of their responsibility to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.
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