Fertility Case Analysis
Case Study Requirements
As each of you complete the case studies please be sure you are addressing the following in each of your responses:
Assess the risks involved in the situation and discuss the ethical implications (and/or legal implications)
Provide a rationale on the steps you chose for your resolution
Identify the major ethical and/or legal issue(s) in the scenario
Identify all those invested in the outcome (e.g. family members, patient, doctors, hospital administration, policy makers, etc.)
Identify one action plan to resolve the issue(s) with proper literature support
Discuss your personal reaction to the scenario
Dr. H’s Fertility Case Analysis
Ethics and legal aspects are vital elements that govern nurses’ practice in acting and making decisions that align with the nursing code of ethics. Nurses are expected to be cautious while caring for patients, and any care or treatment option they make should be ethical and legally correct. According to Kadivar et al. (2017), nurses should thrive in a safe environment that offers quality care and be competent by following all the laid guidelines and regulations to prevent the occurrence of ethical and legal concerns in their practice. Dr. H’s case is an example of malpractice in the medical field. The physician breached his practice’s moral and legal regulations, making decisions that negatively impacted the clients. His unprofessionalism is also revealed in how he treats his employees with threats, as he did with Mary.
The risks involved in the situation and the ethical/ Legal implications
Risks Involved in the Situation
Dr. H’s self-sperm transfer to patients anonymously presents a risky venture associated with several ethical and legal implications. Apart from causing his clients harm with no informed consent, the doctor placed his professional certification, his staff, and the entire facility at risk. His act will subject patients to emotional and psychological stress once his actions are proven and patients realize that their children are not their biological offspring. The risk of transferring diseases and genetic disorders to the born children was also evident in the scenario.
It is unethical and illegal to exploit patients and transfer sperms to them without their consent. It violates human rights of freedom of medical choice and is part of a fertility fraud (Dunn, 2020). According to Dunn (2020), the unconsented transfer of sperms is an anti-fraud law passed by a few states in the USA. Fraud law classifies an illegal implant of reproductive materials to the patient without their consent. Such cases of Cline, Portugal doctor, Texas, and Dr. Paul are examples of crooked physicians that engaged in fertility fraud. The doctor’s act was morally wrong and ethically unconscious as he disregarded the future life of the sired children, especially on the exposure of the case
A Rationale on the Steps Chosen for the Resolution
Every decision or treatment plan that clinicians decide to implement in a patient’s life should only be approved with the patient’s informed consent. All physicians are subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit if any medical decision involving patients is made without informed consent (Kadivar et al., 2017). The ethical principle that highlights seven principles: autonomy, fidelity, integrity, beneficence, no maleficence, justice, and confidentiality is commonly applied in nursing practice (Saadi & Payne, 2019)). The fertility case breached the justice, beneficence, no maleficence, and autonomy principles. The clinician all violated patients’ rights and ability to make their own decisions, take actions, participate in decisions that do not harm them, privacy, and their rights to fair treatment.
Major Ethical/Legal Issue(S) in the Scenario
The main ethical issue in Dr. H’s case is lack of informed consent and violation of patients’ rights to autonomy and fidelity. The doctor could have had valid reasons for helping his infertile patients fertilize through the artificial insemination of sperms. Still, the patients’ unawareness and the act’s consequences will impact the victims, making the show ethically unconscious and illegal.
Those Invested in the Case Outcome
Dr. H’s malpractice and reckless professional conduct are bound to impact several of his close family and staff, with the affected families suffering the most trauma after knowing about the misconduct. Dr. H’s relocation portrays that his family felt the impact of his misconduct. The clinicians like Mary and her colleagues with the entire hospital administration are bound to feel the effect, especially after the public knows about the case. The affected patients and their family members will experience uncalled for trauma realizing their children were sired elsewhere without their knowledge.
One Action Plan to Resolve the Issue
The Fertility Fraud Law
Immediate response to issues of ethical/legal concerns is vital to prevent the recurrence of the ill. Implementing the fertility fraud law in all states with strict adherence to the professional code of ethics in nursing will effectively resolve all such issues of fertility fraud (Dunn, 2020). Dunn (2020) implies that the fertility law has only been passed in five states in the USA, and its integration in other states in America will aid in ending such cases.
Personal Reaction to The Scenario
Patients’ safety, responsible, and ethical professionalism are crucial in patients’ care. My reaction to Dr. H’s fertility case is pessimistic since his conduct was unprofessional and uncalled for. The act displayed his lack of regard for ethical principles and violated patients’ autonomy and fidelity. Therefore, the malpractice and his management and treatment of junior staff like Mary were unwarranted, ascertaining his negligence that warrants stern actions by the law enforcers.
Dr. H’s sperm donation malpractice is one of the many such incidences in health facilities. His act portrays negligence, unprofessional, and unethical practice that impacts his occupation, his other physicians’ and subjects’ clients’ life to trauma because of the inseminations into their bodies without their knowledge. Thus, the doctor breached the ethical and professional code of conduct and should be held liable.
Dunn, C. (2020). Fertility Fraud and Proposal for Florida Legislation. Child & Fam. LJ, 8, 133.
Kadivar, M., Manookian, A., Asghari, F., Niknafs, N., Okazi, A., & Zarvani, A. (2017). Ethical and legal aspects of patient’s safety: a clinical case report. Journal of medical ethics and history of medicine, 10.
Saadi, A., & Payne, A. (2019). United States immigration detention and the role of nurses: A call for action against human rights violations. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 24(3).