How ethical are you?

  1. Just a retorical question for all you out there. I recently took care of a judge who told me that medical malpractice cases are so hard for prosecution to win because so many involved conviently "don't recall", or don't come forward with what they know, for fear of retaliation from the doctor or hospital. They don't want to be involved.

    How many of you nurses would step up to the plate and testify against a doctor if something was done wrong and you knew it? Would you convienlty "not recall" or step up to the plate and tell the whole story no matter what the consequences.
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I guess, I am not only bound ETHICALLY but by LAW to tell what I saw. To me, it's not a choice. I don't see how I could choose to "forget". Am I missing something? Maybe. Does that make me "ethical"? I don't know. It makes me a law-abiding citizen who is doing the right thing, simply in my simple mind.
  4. by   hoolahan
    I am not sure I would recall damaging evidence about myself, but another, if it were true, and esp if the doc or caregiver was a danger, I would recall the details!

    Heard of a nurse who was punched by a doc in the OR. Doc had a scrub nurse hold up a towel so he could punch the nurse w/o breaking scrub. When it came to court, no one could recall anything, which was a shame b/c this guy was not only a first class a-hole, but a LOUSY surgeon!!! I am sure the nurse who held up the towel had no idea why the doc had asked her to do that, and was probably shocked, but come on, how do you not recall doing something like that???

    Of course I wasn't there, so it could all be bull.
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    Originally posted by rogdog
    Just a retorical question for all you out there. I recently took care of a judge who told me that medical malpractice cases are so hard for prosecution to win because so many involved conviently "don't recall", or don't come forward with what they know, for fear of retaliation from the doctor or hospital. They don't want to be involved.

    How many of you nurses would step up to the plate and testify against a doctor if something was done wrong and you knew it? Would you convienlty "not recall" or step up to the plate and tell the whole story no matter what the consequences.
    IMO, one of the reasons there is a nursing shortage is precisely because we ARE ethical enough to put the needs of the patient before our own. Hospitals just hate that; it means they have to buy more stuff and pay for more staff.
  6. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    I would tell it like it is reguardless of the outcome. Im there as the patient advocate. Im educated to cover my a$$.
    Zoe
  7. by   eltrip
    Always, always, always speak the truth! It's the only way to be able to live with yourself.
  8. by   rebel_red
    Aw heck I was fired once for telling the truth. My boss was apologizing throughout the whole thing. Needless to say I was a little pi$$y about the situation. Finally told him "Save the sympathy for yourself. I'll be able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning and you won't." Yeah I got just a little self righteous there........ Yet ya know when push comes to shove it's all about telling the truth. (especially keeping truthful with yourself......lying shows a blatant disregard for the person you tell the falsehood.)

    Tres

    Tres
  9. by   baseline
    I am a patient advocate. If I felt someone was negligent I would judge by the standard of care. Thats the law. Ethical? Afraid so....being honest has gotten my ass in a jam more times than not....
  10. by   rncountry
    Got fired, put my license on the line and then filed a lawsuit over the whole mess, because I was trying to make sure the facility I worked in could not cover up patient abuse. HOWEVER, there was only one nurse that I worked with that was willing to stand up with me. Not like the others didn't know what had happened and that the facility was not reporting appropriately, they did. The only nurse who was willing to stand with me was Michael Sparks RN. He died last year at only 38 years old. A childhood diabetic who died with a silent MI. I honor his memory by telling you his name. Damn, now I'm crying.
  11. by   fab4fan
    I can't go into the details, but I had to do this about 3y after I graduated; a pt. demise resulted d/t physician buck-passing. It was nerve-racking...I hope I never have to do it again, but I will if I have to.
  12. by   canoehead
    I would be honest if asked about what I observed others doing, but I wouldn't draw conclusions.

    In the past I have immediately notified family and patients about my mistakes, but I must admit that the tempation to keep quiet was there. I'd like to say I would remain honest- but by doing that you are putting your career in the other person's hands, and some people don't look at that responsibility the same way I do.
  13. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by ITSJUSTMEZOE
    I would tell it like it is reguardless of the outcome. Im there as the patient advocate. Im educated to cover my a$$.
    Zoe

    Very well stated!!!
  14. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by eltrip
    Always, always, always speak the truth! It's the only way to be able to live with yourself.
    Exactly. The truth comes out the same every time. Even if it gets me, my hospital, or the docs in serious trouble. I need to be able to sleep at night/day.

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