Sentry Page Protection
Ethical Scenario 27
A patient attends your surgery demanding antibiotics and co-codamol analgesics. They become angry when told that they need an assessment first. How would you manage this patient and which ethical dilemmas arise here?
Excellent Candidate response
- Firstly, a patient must always be assessed prior to prescribing antibiotics or analgesics.
- Antibiotics must be indicated prior to prescription and should not be given unnecessarily.
- It should be made clear to the patient that a clinical exam and assessment is needed before formulating a treatment plan which includes prescriptions.
- If the patient becomes abusive or harmful, the staff have the right to refuse treatment.
- Sometimes patients attend demanding drugs which can become addictive if taken regularly, e.g. co-codamol. Clinicians should be aware of this and only prescribe that which is clinically indicated and not feel under pressure due to patient demands. If you feel the patient may be addicted to certain analgesics or at risk, advise them to see their GP, or you can also write to their GP with your concerns.