Applied ethics

Bioethics. Business ethics. Moral psychology

“Gatekeepers” role

A two-year-old child with a rectal temperature of 102°F is brought into the emer­gency department at 2:00 a.m. by his parents because of the fever. He is fussy and is pulling at his left ear.

Increased charges for third-party pay patients

The emergency physician began his shift an hour ago and has already seen five patients, all with the viral syndrome that is going around. None of these patients have insurance, so the physician bills them at a minimal rate for his services.

Delegating the notification of death to others

Paramedics were summoned to aid a 70-year-old woman in cardiac arrest. They attempted to resuscitate her, but on arrival at the emergency department the patient was still unresponsive and was pronounced dead.

Telephone consultations to families and other health care providers

A registered nurse working in a busy emergency department receives a call from a mother whose two-year-old child has diarrhea and is vomiting. The mother wants to know what to do.