Comment(s) Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz And Poll: The Nurse Practitioner’s Dilemma”
Since there’s a chance that I’m about to get slammed.
It should go without saying that the best answer that crossed my path re: professional medical ethics should not be taken as approval for the 16-year-old’s life choices.
I will not slam anyone who offers a legitimate perspective based on factual data. Your comment of the day is well deserved.
I do wonder what ethical obligation any person regardless of age has to society with respect to imposing on society the costs of rearing the child beyond providing an education. If none is owed to society what is owed to the conceived child who may go hungry or without adequate care because the mother was thinking only of herself at conception.
While I understand the logic in the cited medical ethics, I don’t see within them the requirement to deliver services to the child at some reduced rate if the mother cannot afford medical care. It seems to me that if a persons professional ethics compels them to act one way then they should be obligated to incur some of the costs associated with those rules.
Not my comment of the day, The comments of the day are in reply to the data I googled up, nothing more.
While I understand the logic in the cited medical ethics, I don’t see within them the requirement to deliver services to the child at some reduced rate if the mother cannot afford medical care. It seems to me that if a [person’s] professional ethics compels them to act one way then they should be obligated to incur some of the costs associated with those rules.
Would you then send a bill to a defense attorney for the costs of any crimes commented by a client post-acquittal?
Good point. Touche’
Actually upon reflection I dont think the lawyer analogy is appropriate. If a lawyer counsels a client how to commit a crime in advance that is closer to assisting a minor get pregnant. Nowhere would I have suggested that a minor who had given birth be denied services.
A lawyer who helps facilitate a crime is as culpable as the one committing the crime. If that is the case then my question about shouldering the costs of helping a minor create a new person that will rely on societies public resources remains valid.
If, through my acts, I create costs that will be borne by third parties, is that not a tortious act?
Irrespective of who the COTD belongs your comment was a reasonable perspective that was instructive to me.
All the comments on this topic were valuable
if a persons professional ethics compels them to act one way then they should be obligated to incur some of the costs associated with those rules.
That’s getting unnecessarily complicated. The medical professional is not acting unilaterally. Part of the questioning and counseling should and usually does, from the beginning, include encouraging the patient to take advantage of referrals to any and all other services available to the teen, some of which will be able to offer financial counseling and/or private help (some public assistance is there too, but would not be extensive until after the birth) . This is where Planned Parenthood shows its shining ethical side, by the way. And the need for funds might be one that leads to getting the parents involved.
But if you’re suggesting that the doctor or nurse practitioner counseling the girl who is intent on becoming pregnant is in any way responsible in for the outcome of the pregnancy, no, I would not agree, however cold-blooded that may sound. Sad as it may be, that is the result of decision(s) the patient makes out of (hopefully) informed-as-possible consent. A physician with a private practice (hard to find these days) might be in a position to discount or waive fees but not if they share profits with a group or are contracted to a hospital. Many doctors will give time to work, pro bono, as it were, in free clinics, but there are whopping expenses for tests, hospital care and delivery besides. (Since 1994, when most hospitals in the United States were silently given over – taken over? – to “managed care” by private companies, the shareholders have uniformly frowned on cutting fees.)
In the end – at the ideal ethical outcome – the mother (and possibly the putative father), as mature, well informed and supported as possible, will be responsible for the child.
Excellent points Penn. I asked the question to stimulate dialogue.
The financial ramifications of primary care would place doctors in a no win situation.
Then the question becomes should this minor, after being well informed continue on this course should society be obligated to pay for her decisions.?
Both citations from the professional codes fall on the presumption that there exists “competent minors”. I would argue NO. I would also add the reality that there are fewer and fewer “competent adults, but that is another point. This young girl does not have the legal competence to sign contracts, She barely has the competence or the legal right to drive a vehicle, she cannot work under certain conditions, she can not enlist in the military, she cannot engage in any licensed professions, under most state laws she would be considered the victim of statutory rape if someone engaged in sexual activity with or without her consent.
The professional codes cited above merely legally protect those who refuse to act with common sense.
Thanks for the Comment of the Day; thanks even for more the lively debate!
We have a rare two-headed Comment of the Day on “Ethics Quiz And Poll: The Nurse Practitioner’s Dilemma,”about the nurse practitioner’s dilemma when she was asked by a poor, unmarried, 16-year-old , unemployed high school drop-out to help her get pregnant. Taking a minority position among commenters (the post’s poll results overwhelmingly favored counseling the girl against pregnancy), commenter valkygrrl wrote,
Commenter Tony, a physician, added in his Comment of the Day #1,
To this, John R. Billingsley added Comment of the Day #2: