Ethical Considerations

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Respond to the following:

1. You are a LNC working for a criminal defense attorney. The case that you are working on involves defending a local physician who is alleged to have been diluting and adulterating medications before selling them directly to his patients. Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration videotaped the doctor while he was diluting medications in his office after the close of business. This videotape is the best evidence against the defendant doctor who your supervising attorney is representing.

Before a pretrial hearing you observe a nurse employee of the defendant doctor approach the federal prosecuting attorney and talk with her in the parking lot outside of the local courthouse. The prosecutor happens to be holding the videotape and some other papers in her hand. You observe the nurse pull what appears to be a large magnet from her oversized purse and lean toward the videotape. You know that if the magnet makes contact with the videotape, it will erase the contents of the videotape.

As the LNC working for the defense of the doctor, what ethically should you do, if anything?

2. Why do you believe that many procedural safeguards were included in the United States Constitution for the protection of the criminally accused? Are there too many safeguards or too few?

3. Evaluate the two standards for substitute decision making in cases where a decision must be made regarding withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment without the existence of a written directive: the legal standard of surrogate decision making and the legal standard of best interests of the patient. In your opinion, which standard should courts use to determine treatment decisions in these cases?

4. Discuss some ways that the LNC can overcome personal biases when evaluating medical records.

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