Ethical Healthcare Scenarios Worksheet

Ethical Healthcare Scenarios Worksheet

Scenario 1: Medical coding in a physician’s practice

Imagine you work in a high-pressure cardiology physician’s office and you are one of two medical coders. Your supervisor is very focused on the greatest reimbursement to satisfy revenue projections for the practice. As a result, you are asked to “up-code” billing. How can the pressure of acquiring the maximum repayment for services lead to manipulating or falsifying documentation?

1. What is “up-code” billing? Is it legal? Is it ethical?

2. What ethical principles are evident in this scenario (beneficence, justice, autonomy, non-maleficence)?

3. How can the pressure of acquiring the maximum repayment for services lead to manipulating/falsifying documentation?

Scenario 2: Administration of patient medications in the hospital setting

Imagine you are a new graduate nurse working nights on a busy medical unit. You just received a new patient who needs to be admitted to your unit and you just finished medicating a patient with a narcotic injection with a dose greater than ordered. Clearly understanding medication errors may lead to patient injury and even death, explain why a clinician may choose not to report the incident.

1. What constitutes a medication error? Is it legal? Is it ethical?

2. What ethical principles are evident in this scenario (beneficence, justice, autonomy, non-maleficence)?

3. Why might a clinician choose not to report a medication error?

Scenario 3: Not hiring a qualified individual because of discrimination

Imagine you are a new human resources director in a nonprofit organization and have been pressured not to hire Middle Eastern candidates by the organization’s CEO. In the United States, discrimination against people based on their ethnicity, race, or cultural orientation is strictly forbidden under federal and state laws. Ethical discrimination may result in the breeding of ill feelings at work, as well as reduced productivity. To eliminate these ramifications, organizations need to put forth increased effort in curbing ethical discrimination in the employment sector. What are some interventions organizations can put in place to prevent discrimination?

1. What is discrimination? Is it illegal? Is it ethical?

2. What principles are evident in this scenario (beneficence, justice, autonomy, non-maleficence)?

3. Name three interventions organization can put in place to prevent discrimination.

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