During a routine physical examination at your rural practice, one of your teenage patients shares that he has seen another teenage patient using cocaine at your neighbour’s house.
- What are your ethical responsibilities as a physician?
- What are your ethical responsibilities to your neighbour? The law?
- Do these roles conflict?
- How would you proceed in this situation and why?
- How are the ethics issues in this case affected by the rural context?
Some Values and Ethics Issues to Consider
- Community and family relationships
- Compliance with policies and procedures
- Respect for privacy and confidentiality
- Overlapping roles and responsibilities
- Patient-provider relationships
- Professional boundaries
- Honesty, trust and truth-telling