One of the purposes of a code of ethics is to help nurses keep perspective and a balanced view regarding the decision they make in the course of caring for patients. Read the following case study while keeping in mind the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses. As you read the study make note of events that you feel violate any part of the Code of Ethics and the patient?s rights. Once you have identified a violation, explain what makes this action a violation and which of the nine provisions of the code apply. Also, discuss how the situation should have been handled in order not to violate the code of ethics or the patient?s rights. M. G. presents herself to the emergency room with lower right abdominal pain. M. G. is a 17-year-old Caucasian female and is accompanied by her mother. M. G.’s mother is a nurse and works in another department of the hospital. The mother signed all of M. G.’s admission paperwork and received the Patient Bill of Rights. Although M. G.’s pain does not seem severe enough for appendicitis, she does have a history of fever for 24 hours and her temperature in the hospital is 100.8?F (38?C). An ultrasound that did not show appendicitis had been done earlier in the day. She was told to report to emergency room if the fever rose. After M. G. reports her symptoms to both a RN and a nurse practitioner, she is examined briefly by emergency department physician. The staff assumes that M. G.’s mother wants to stay in the room and does not seek the patient’s permission. As a part of her history, M.G. informs them she is not sexually active and is on the second day of her menstrual cycle. The mother can tell by the tone of questioning that the staff does not believe M.G. is still a virgin. After a two-hour delay, including having to repeat the urinalysis because of a lost specimen, the emergency physician decides a pelvic exam needs to be done. The pelvic exam is traumatic for the patient, despite her mother’s best efforts to calm her. M. G. is told in a condescending tone that the exam hurts because of her failure to relax. Following the exam, the physician tells M. G. and mother that her blood count is normal, the urinalysis was inconclusive because of menstrual blood, and the patient was uncooperative in giving a catheterized specimen. M. G. and her mother were informed a pregnancy test was done, because the staff has experienced ?immaculate conceptions? in their department. The only time that M. G. and her mother had contact with an RN during this time was when she was initially triaged and when the discharge instructions were handed to her mother. M. G. and her mother were sent home with instructions. Her pain subsided without treatment. When writing your discussion posts consider: What ethical principles are applicable to this case study? How are they in conflict? What ethical theory would you use to support your point of view in this case study? How would you argue the opposing viewpoint? What provisions of the ANA Code of Ethics are violated in this case study? Provide rationale.

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