Legal and Ethical Consideration

Choose a health care issue with controversial ethical and legal implications that was at the center of a high visibility case in the public domain. Some examples of issues include but are not limited to the following:

Late term abortion

Assisted suicide

Surgical errors

Patient abuse

Parental refusal of medical treatment of minors for religious reasons

Transplant patient selection process

Access to clinical trials by terminal patients

Gender assignment for infants born with intersex anatomy

Survivor selection in conjoined twins

Access to illicit drugs for palliative care

Withholding hydration or nourishment

Life support continuation for brain-dead patients

Medical treatment for the elderly or terminally ill

Donor organ harvesting

Use of placebo in clinical trials

Use of patient data without consent

Stem cell research and treatments

Access to treatments not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Note: There is no time frame during which the case must have occurred for this assignment. Please note, however, that any case selected must be analyzed in the context of laws and policies that existed at the time of the case in addition to current laws and policies.

Perform research in the University library using at least 8–10 relevant peer-reviewed academic or professional journal articles that were published within the past 5 years, and complete the following to prepare your report:

Analyze the ethics of the case from each end of the ethical spectrum (ultraconservative to ultraliberal) from the perspective of 3 of the following stakeholders:


Patient’s immediate family or guardians

Emergency medical personnel or first responders

Doctors, surgeons, specialists, or other medical providers

The hospital or health care facility

A pharmaceutical or medical device company

Identify policies at the federal, state, and local levels relating to the provision of health care and patient rights that played the following roles in the case:

Assesses opposing views of these policies from the perspectives of the provider and patient

Analyzes the implications of these policies on the operations of health care organizations

Identify at least 3 state or federal laws that are relevant to the case, and complete the following:

Evaluate key legal factors that are inherent in the case.

Assess various policies and procedures that are inherent in these laws that relate to the provision of health care by providers or patient rights.

Differentiate between the demands of legal policies and ethical issues with relevance to the needs of the provider and patient.

Formulate an assessment of the potential impact of the case on decision-making options in the future for providers, patients, and administrators.

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