Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs – nurs 6521 Discussion
Discussion: Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing
What type of drug should you prescribe based on your
patient’s diagnosis? How much of the drug should the patient receive? How often
should the drug be administered? When should the drug not be prescribed? Are
there individual patient factors that could create complications when taking
the drug? Should you be prescribing drugs to this patient?
These are some of the questions you might consider when
selecting a treatment plan for a patient. As an advanced practice nurse
prescribing drugs, you are held accountable for people’s lives on a daily
basis. Patients and their families will often place trust in you because of
your position. With this trust comes power and responsibility, as well as an
ethical and legal obligation to “do no harm.” It is important that you are
aware of current professional, legal, and ethical standards for advanced
practice nurses with prescriptive authority. In this Discussion, you explore
ethical and legal implications of scenarios and consider how to appropriately respond.
As a nurse practitioner, you prescribe medications for your
patients. You make an error when prescribing medication to a 5-year-old
patient. Rather than dosing him appropriately, you prescribe a dose suitable
for an adult. Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs – nurs 6521 Discussion.
A friend calls and asks you to prescribe a medication for
her. You have this autonomy, but you don’t have your friend’s medical history.
You write the prescription anyway.
You see another nurse practitioner writing a prescription
for her husband who is not a patient of the nurse practitioner. The
prescription is for a narcotic. You can’t decide whether or not to report the
During your lunch break at the hospital, you read a journal
article on pharmacoeconomics. You think of a couple of patients who have
recently mentioned their financial difficulties. You wonder if some of the
expensive drugs you have prescribed are sufficiently managing the patients’
health conditions and improving their quality of life.
Review Chapter 1 of the Arcangelo and Peterson text, as well
as articles from the American Nurses Association, Anderson and Townsend, the
Drug Enforcement Administration, and Philipsend and Soeken.
Select one of the four scenarios listed above.
Consider the ethical and legal implications of the scenario
for all stakeholders involved such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and
the patient’s family. Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs – nurs 6521 Discussion.
Think about two strategies that you, as an advanced practice
nurse, would use to guide your ethically and legally responsible
decision-making in this scenario.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post an explanation of the ethical and legal implications of
the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved such as the prescriber,
pharmacist, patient, and the patient’s family. Describe two strategies that
you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision making in
By Day 6
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond
to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected a
different scenario than you did, in one or more of the following ways:
Suggest additional ethical and legal implications for all
stakeholders in your colleagues’ scenarios.
Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings
from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
Validate an idea with your own experience and additional
research. Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs – nurs 6521 Discussion.