Prof. Brenda Warr
Ethical Issues in HIM
Question 1 – How can medical identity theft affect patient safety?
Medical identity theft is when someone steals your personal information (like your name, social security number, or Medicare number) to obtain medical care, buy drugs, or submit fake billings to Medicare in your name. This definition alone is enough to explain how the safety of a patient can be affected if their medical identity is stolen. Having the name and/ or social security number is enough to even go further than just affecting patient safety; it can impact their everyday life outside of the medical field. If a person has the name, social security number, and the medical number basically gives that person full control over your Medicare, your health insurance, and even your medical records I would believe. This person can buy drugs that you need for any of your health issues, or even pick them up and then you wouldn’t get them. They can seek medical care with your information and send the bills your way, for something you don’t even have or know of, and then their ailments would be on your record as well, which causes high risk factors since there isn’t actually anything wrong with you in that sense, but because your records show otherwise, you are required for a certain treatment or medication that you really don’t need. For example, you (the victim) have a prescription ready for you to maybe help you sleep and relieve pain, but when you go to get it, someone has already gotten it and you look like you’re doing something wrong, and even worse someone has your much needed prescription and now you are stuck with that pain and cannot get a wink of sleep. Another example is the person who has stolen your medical identity has went in for medical help using your name, social security number, and Medicare number and it turns out they have thyroids. Your record would now state that you have thyroids and you would receive all of the prescriptions that would be battling that ailment, but you do not actually have the ailment and now have drugs that could harm you and according to your medical records, you have to take them. To make matters worse, you receive the bill for this person who is using your good name, for their very expensive surgery to help with their thyroids. The patient’s safety would be severely impacted for the worst if their medical identity was stolen.
Question 2 – Use the internet to investigate and identify (2) medical ethical breaches, not data breaches, in health care over the past five years. Article 1:
Please explain the 2 cases in detail including the name of the case, date of the case, and detailed summary of the case. In one article, An Ethical Breakdown, by The Editorial Board on April 15, 2013, from the NY Times website, the situation is a medical ethical breach involving a study on extremely premature babies. 23 academic institutions authorized a research project on premature babies, which included over 1,300 premature babies that were born between 24 and 27 weeks of growth or pregnancy. According to the article the project did not give an informed consent document that informed the parents of the risks or the benefits of the research on their premature babies. Basically, as explained in the article “The underdeveloped lungs in such babies are often unable to extract enough oxygen from the air to nourish the brain, so doctors often supply extra oxygen. The danger is that too much oxygen can cause severe eye damage and blindness, whereas too little can lead to brain damage and death.” (Board, 2013, p. 1) In order to provide the necessary care to the babies the blood is to be saturated with 85 to 95 percent oxygen. The researchers were trying to found a more precise or direct range so that there would be less damage to the eyes without the risk of death raising. The study was financed by the National Institutes of Health and the research project had 1,300 of...
Cited: Board, T. E. (2013, April 15). The Opinion Pages. Retrieved from nytimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/opinion/an-ethical-breakdown-in-medical-research.html
By Letitia Stein and Curtis Krueger, T. s. (2010, January 26). Tampa Bay Times (News). Retrieved from Tampabay.com: http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/pregnant-womans-involuntary-hospitalization-raises-legal-ethical-medical/1068455
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