Every pharmacist constantly makes ethical choices. Sometimes these choices are dramatic, life-and-death decisions, but often they are more subtle, less conspicuous choices that are nonetheless important. Assisted suicide, conscientious refusal, pain management, equitable and efficacious distribution of drug resources within institutions and managed care plans, confidentiality, and alternative and non-traditional therapies are among the issues that are of unique concern to pharmacists. One way of seeing the implications of such issues and the moral choices they pose is to look at the experiences and the choices that have had to be made in situations typically faced by pharmacists. This book is a collection of those situations based on the real experiences of practicing pharmacists. The use of case studies in health care ethics is not new, but in pharmacy it is. This text is an important teaching tool that will help pharmacy students and pharmacists address the increasing number of ethical problems arising in their profession. It is not merely a compilation of cases, but rather is organized for the systematic study of applied ethics. Part I shows how to distinguish ethical problems from other kinds of evaluative judgments and examines the sources of values in pharmacy, posing basic questions about the meaning and justification of ethical claims. Part II explores the basic principles of ethics as they have an impact on pharmacy. Specific cases from clinical settings present in a systematic way the various questions raised by each of the major ethical principles: benefiting the patient; distributing resources justly; respecting autonomy; dealing honestly with patients; keeping promises of confidentiality; and avoiding killing. Part III examines some of the special problems of contemporary pharmacy such as the linkages between pharmaceutical care and professional practice, human experimentation, reproductive issues, genetic technology, death and dying, and mental health.
This book is a discussion of ethics concerning patient care issues as they relate to the pharmacist. The purpose is to provide pharmacists with an opportunity to become aware of ethics and moral issues encountered within the scope of the practice of pharmacy, and the ethical implications of their actions. The audience of this reference is any practicing pharmacist, student, or any practitioner involved in the education of pharmacists. Because of the wide range of clinical situations presented, other healthcare professionals may benefit from this reference. This reference contains a number of case studies in which a wide range of situations encountered by pharmacists is described. Cases range from ""every day"" occurrences in a community pharmacy -- such as dispensing of generic drugs -- to care of critical and dying patients. In each case a situation actually encountered by a pharmacist involving some type of moral or ethical issue is described. A commentary of the ethical implications of the pharmacist's action follows each case. The text is arranged in three parts -- Ethics and Values in Pharmacy; Ethical Principles in Pharmacy Ethics; and Special Problem Areas -- with cases specific to those topics discussed in each part. In the introduction authors review the principles and concepts of ethics by explaining the four basic questions of ethics. Although the cases are not referenced, each topic section includes notes listing references pertinent to that topic. The authors of this book provide practical illustrations of ethical or moral issues facing practicing pharmacists. Although there are many references on ethics and the practice of medicine, there are few that relate ethicsto pharmacy. In this reference the authors not only address ethical issues encountered in ""life-and-death"" situations, but they also include ethical case discussions on everyday practices that the majority of pharmacists encounter.