ETHICS AND LEGALITIES OF MEDICAL ERROR DISCLOSURE
The Ethics and Legalities of Medication Error Disclosure
In healthcare, medical errors are frequent. The occurrence of medical errors leads to additional expenses amounting to over three billion dollars annually. It is estimated that over one million Americans are affected by medical errors (Westrick & Jacob, 2016). With the rise in medical error cases, it becomes essential to understand disclosure and non-disclosure of medical mistakes regarding ethics and litigation. Moreover, preventive strategies should be pursued on how to reduce the mistakes during prescription writing.
Moral and Legal Repercussions
In healthcare, there are cardinal rules that promote ethics. Non-maleficence, commitment, right to information, the truth concerning mistakes, benevolence and autonomy are the building block of medical ethics. The American Nurse Association (ANA) have an emphasis on protecting the safety of patients (American Nurses Association, 2015). It is from this line of thought that medical practitioners have a duty of protecting patients from medical errors. According to the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), patients’ safety is possible through the disclosure of medical errors (Stokowski, 2016).
Conversely, litigation is the leading contributor to non-disclosure. Most medical practitioners are afraid of the legal implications of medical errors. By exercising exposure, there is a significant increase in healthcare quality. The mandate of exposure has been emphasized by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Quality which has also reduced the rate of medical errors. Non-disclosure by medical practitioners in any situation may lead to a suspension of practicing license according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Quality (Horowitz, 2016).