Organizational Ethics Standard – Medical Ethics Example

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"Organizational Ethics Standard"  is a wonderful example of a paper on medical ethics. The hospital is supposed to be one of the safest places as far as the patient is concerned. Patient safety should be the most important thing to the hospital staff, and they should do all they can to ensure that patients entrusted to their care come to no harm. The responsibility of the hospital, therefore, is to ensure that the patients receive the best care there is, and are not exposed to any kind of hazards, whether from the hospital environment or from the doctors’ or nurses’ conduct.

The hospital administration has played its supervisory role in a manner that would hold every individual caregiver or doctor responsible for any mishaps as far as the safety of the patients is concerned. The licensed professionals such as Dr. Spalding have the responsibility of maintaining their professionalism by keeping a straight head, as well as observing all the ethical issues in the medical profession. Patients and their families entrust their lives to the hospital fraternity, and as much as patients might be responsible for their own safety to some extent, the hospital does not also have any excuses for lapsing when it comes to giving medical care to patients.   There has been a significant number of cases of the use of drugs and substance by healthcare professionals, and as the example of Dr.

Spalding in the case study, the use of substances and drugs might play a major role in disorienting an individual. The impairment of a healthcare profession is impending inability, or simply the inability of a healthcare professional to fail to perform according to the set standards due to the abuse and/or dependence on drugs. Both substance abuse and addiction (dependence) could have devastating consequences on an individual’ s social or professional life.

The symptoms of addiction are physiological and behavioral, and this could also cause a lot of problems, especially for professionals who have standards to meet. When caring for patients, healthcare professionals have specific responsibilities, especially related to impairment (Wong, 1998).   The lives of the patients are always in their hands, meaning that a doctor would not have the luxury of taking gambles with people’ s lives by coming to work drunk, or under the influence of a drug of some sort. This is notwithstanding how good the doctor is, or how rare his/her skills are.

Dr. Spalding might be a perfect doctor and teacher, but drinking alcohol before coming to work could gravely compromise his precision (considering that he is a surgeon), and this could cost someone’ s life. Therefore, doctors or healthcare professionals must avoid impairment as much as possible, and ensure that others also do not come to work impaired. The actions, in this case, were clearly not consistent with the healthcare professional codes of conduct for physicians.

Firstly, the deliberate drinking and lateness of Dr. Spalding could have cost a person’ s life, and the fact that he has been doing it for a long time is a gross violation. Jan, on the other hand, chose to cover for Dr. Spalding despite his impaired condition, just because she did not want to cause him any problems, probably with the hospital administration. This might just cost lives someday if Jan keeps covering for Dr.

Spalding. The resident physicians, on the other hand, did their best in ensuring that the surgery continued in an effort to save the patient’ s life.


Wong, K. L. (1998). Medicine and the marketplace: The moral dimensions of managed care. Notre Dame, In: University of Notre Dame Press.
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