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Chapter 32. Ethics and Professionalism

An attending surgeon asks a resident to look up medical information on the attending’s family member, since the resident is logged in and has his computer open. The norm most at risk in this scenario involves:

A. Beneficence

B. Justice

C. HIPAA/privacy

D. Autonomy

Answer: C. The resident does not know if the attending has the patient’s permission to see the results. Therefore, he could be violating the patient’s privacy.

In response to the request in question 1, the best course of action for the resident should be:

A. Look up the data for the attending

B. Log out of the network and allow the attending to log in

C. Look up the data then report the action to the program director

D. Tell the medical student to look up the information

Answer: B. The best thing to do is offer your computer to the attending after logging out. Passing the buck to the medical student is not ethical, and looking up the information is wrong, even if the program director is notified.

A 60-year-old cirrhotic patient comes to the emergency room in severe septic shock and a perforated viscus and gross contamination. After massive fluid resuscitation and emergent source control, the patient’s condition worsens. On maximal pressure support, his blood pressure continues to fall, and you wish to call a family meeting. Which of the following are likely not stakeholders in this case to attend the meeting?

A. His wife

B. His son

C. His primary nurse

D. His friend and neighbor

Answer: D. Family and members of the health care team definitely should be present at the meeting. Unless the friend is designated power of attorney or there is some special reason, the friend does not need to be there.

In the case in question 3, you believe cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would be futile. In this case, you should:

A. Give the family all treatment options and let them decide

B. Tell them that CPR is not indicated, as it will only harm him

C. Do ...

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