Healthcare professionals and Patient Rights and Privacy,

1) Julio

As Healthcare professionals our number one focus and the whole reason we have a job is to care for patients. The topic of assisted suicide is a very controversial one and will probably never be looked at with the same unanimous outlook. Death in general is always a very sensitive subject for many people simply because it is unknown exactly how and what happens after death. For some the idea of an afterlife is absolute fact and for others the belief is that once you die that is it. This debate can go on for all eternity but the fact of the matter is, while we are living in this world we as the patient should have absolute say so concerning life and death. In my own opinion Dr. Jack Kevorkian is a man that wanted to stop patient’s pain once and for all. I don’t not feel that he was doing it to be evil, or cynical or for money. He is definitely not a murder by any right. I truly feel that as a Doctor he just wanted to give his patients exactly what they wanted. Family and friends that want to keep you alive and refuse to let you die even after you have been illness that will force you to be in agonizing pain or you have a mental condition that leaves you unable to function normally is selfish. There is no way else to describe it in my opinion, it is absolutely selfish to want to keep a loved one alive just because they can’t let them go. Yes I am all for helping a patient with their depression and doing everything in my power to find them happiness in life, but if the depression is not getting any better and has no signs of getting better than the ethical thing to do is assist that patient with their final wish. People want to die in a painless and respectful manner. This is why most patients that attempt suicide just cannot bring themselves to do it, because of what they think people will think of them. The first time that Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s went to court the case was thrown out when his defense lawyer made a valid point to the judge simply stated, Michigan has laws against murder, but none for assisted suicide. It wasn’t until he went to 60 Minutes and showed a video of him injecting a patient with chemicals to assist in their suicide did the court finally say that was premeditated murder. “In 1996, we mailed questionnaires to a stratified probability sample of 3102 physicians in the 10 specialties in which doctors are most likely to receive requests from patients for assistance with suicide or euthanasia.” (Meier, D. E., Emmons, C. A., Wallenstein, S., Quill, T., Morrison, R. S., & Cassel, C. K. 1998). The results of this survey are as follows, “We received 1902 completed questionnaires (response rate, 61 percent). Eleven percent of the physicians said that under current legal constraints, there were circumstances in which they would be willing to hasten a patient’s death by prescribing medication, and 7 percent said that they would provide a lethal injection; 36 percent and 24 percent, respectively, said that they would do so if it were legal. Since entering practice, 18.3 percent of the physicians (unweighted number, 320) reported having received a request from a patient for assistance with suicide and 11.1 percent (unweighted number, 196) had received a request for a lethal injection. Sixteen percent of the physicians receiving such requests (unweighted number, 42), or 3.3 percent of the entire sample, reported that they had written at least one prescription to be used to hasten death, and 4.7 percent (unweighted number, 59), said that they had administered at least one lethal injection.” (Meier, D. E., Emmons, C. A., Wallenstein, S., Quill, T., Morrison, R. S., & Cassel, C. K. 1998).
Meier, D. E., Emmons, C. A., Wallenstein, S., Quill, T., Morrison, R. S., & Cassel, C. K. (1998). A national survey of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine, 338(17), 1193-1201.
2) Natasha

Patient Rights and Privacy
Electronic health records is the electronic version of a patients medical history that is maintained by health professionals. “EHRs have been implemented by an every increasing number of hospitals around the world. There have, for example, been initiatives, often driven by government regulations or financial stimulation in the USA. EHR implementation initiatives tend to be driven by the promise of enhanced integration and availability of patient data, by the need to improve efficiency and cost effectiveness” (Boonstra, 2014).
There are safety measures built in to electronic health record (EHR) systems to protect patients and their private information. Some of those safety measures include, access control; tools like passwords and PIN numbers to limit access to patient information to authorized individuals such as the patient doctors or nurses (those who are directly caring for the patient), and encrypted information that cannot be read or understood except by someone who can decrypt it using a special key made available only to authorized individuals. EHRs can improve patient care by reducing the incidence of medical error, improving the accuracy and clarity of medial records, and preventing the duplication of tests and treatments.
One very important barrier against such protections are the limitations EHRs place on patients being able to obtain access to their own medical records.
Boonstra, A., (2014). Implementing electronic health records in hospitals: a systemic literature review, BMC Health Services Research. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-14-370

3) Kelsi
Juror Decision –
4) Ashley

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