Law and Ethics

The five breaches of ethics displayed in the video include (1) respect, (2) honesty, (3) fairness, (4) compassion, and (5) empathy.   Respect was a breach of ethics due to the fact that the nurse was disrespectful towards what was occurring in the patient’s life.   Ethical behavior was also breached in reference to fairness, honesty, empathy and compassion.   The nurse didn’t show empathy or compassion (called the patient fat), wasn’t honest (gave incorrect information on the patient chart) and she wasn’t fair (in reference to talking to her friend on the phone; the attention should have been on the patient and her medical issues).

After reviewing the video, I believe one potential cause of tort, would be that of defamation of character.   In the video, the nurse informed the patient that she was fat and then put on the chart that she weighed 500 pounds.   According to Fremgen, defamation of character is “damage caused to a person’s reputation through spoken or written word” (Fremgen, pg. 33).   On numerous occasions throughout the video the nurse kept referring to the patient’s medical condition of that she was just “fat”.   The text refers to two types of defamation of character, slander and libel.   Slander is “speaking false and malicious words concerning another person that brings injury to his or her reputation”. Libel is “any publication in print, writing, pictures, or signs that injures the reputation of another person”.

Fremgen, B. 2009. Medical Law and Ethics. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.