NCS3203: Law and Ethics in Health

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1IICC Assessment 2 – case study analysis & Assignment brief supplementary examination The case study: Jo is a 46year old female who attended the rural accident and emergency department complaining of upper abdominal pain with her partner. Jo was initially triaged by the registered nurse (RN), she had her vital signs and a pain score completed.

Jo’s vital signs were recorded her temperature was 37.2, pulse 96, respirations 16, BP 136/86 and her pain score was six. Jo also complained of nausea and abdominal bloating. Jo told the nurse that she had been taking Mylanta for the past year for indigestion

. Additionally she had a urine sample tested by the RN and this had no abnormalities. Hence, it was considered by the RN that Jo should be seen immediately for assessment by the doctor. It was a busy night in the rural emergency centre as, there had been a motor cycle road traffic accident.

The driver of the motor cycle had obtained significant leg and chest injuries. Hence, Jo was kept waiting. Jo was also aware of this accident and did not want to bother anyone as, they appeared to be very busy as, well as being short of staff. Despite the department being busy the RN did manage to intermittently assess Jo.

However, Jo was getting increasing nausea due to her pain levels. Jo vomited dark coffee ground fluid two hours after her admission to the Ed department. The RN checked Jo’s observations and her pulse was rising and her BP falling and notified the doctor of Jo’s condition. The doctor then got a more senior doctor to assess Jo.

Jo also had an intravenous line inserted by the Dr, a full blood count and group and hold. Jo was prescribed Pethidine 100mg and Maxolon 10mg by the Dr for her pain and nausea. This pain relief made Jo drowsy and she vomited coffee ground fluid again.

Jo’s vital signs were continued by the nurse via the monitor. Jo was prepared for theatre following consent for an emergency endoscopy. Within theatre the anaesthetist encountered difficulty maintaining Jo’s saturations in theatre during the endoscopy procedure. Jo was transferred post endoscopy to the high dependency unit within a regional facility.

The anaesthetist perceived that Jo had aspirated whilst vomiting in the ward prior to the procedure. Assignment brief:

The assignment brief is structured under the same headings as the marking rubric, please consider both documents carefully as you construct your essay.


You need to consider:


  • The legal and ethical concerns that the situation in the case study raises.


  • Apply all the


    unit content throughout the essay.


  • The possible actions (or inactions/omissions) that could be taken and the implications of those actions (or omissions).


  • You

    do not

    need to provide the ‘right’ answers, what you will be assessed on is your ability to determine the implications of different actions or inactions from a legal and ethical perspective.


  • Think of the possible courses of action, and inaction that could be taken, and then consider, do any ethical theories support (or not) the actions that you discuss?


  • Which ethical principles, doctrines or concepts apply to the actions/inactions put forward and if so, how?


  • Do any of the ethical principles conflict with each other or with the law?


  • Which torts or other legal concerns apply to your suggested actions/inactions?



  • Here you will be assessed on your ability form a logical piece of work that contains an introduction, the main body of the work and a conclusion.


  • There is no need for headings, the paper should flow in one long sequence.


  • You need to address the possible actions / inactions in a logical piece of writing that shows the possible implications of these two different pathways of care / omission of care.


  • The main part of the assessment is that each of those areas (ethics and law) contains appropriate material.


  • Your


    should inform the reader of the main content of the essay.


  • The

    main body

    should contain a logical and cohesive development of ideas and your ability to sustain logical arguments will be assessed.


  • Your


    should provide a summation of the key points of the work.

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