Ethics Case

| April 16, 2015
Scenario
Two principles are often at odds when healthcare practitioners must deal with health issues: The autonomy of each patient and
beneficence. Autonomy refers to the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions. Beneficence refers to the moral obligating to
act in ways that promote the health and welfare of others. As stated in Merman’s Ethical Challenges in the Management of Health
Information, “Beneficence and the closely allied principle of nonmaleficence (first do no harm) are among the primary justification
supporting public policies that interfere with the autonomy of individuals.”
Ethics Issue:
Andre Speaker, a personal injury attorney flew via public transportation from Atlanta, Georgia to Paris to get married. Speaker was
thought to have an extremely contagious and untreatable form of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Upon Speaker’s return to the
Universe State, the Centers for Disease Control used provision of the Public Health Service Act to involuntarily hospitalize and
desolate him. Speaker’s diagnosis was later corrected. He had a treatable form of tuberculosis. At least nine individual who were
passengers on the flights Speaker took later filed civil suits against him for knowingly exposing them to the disease.
1. Thinking as health care practitioners, n your opinion should Mr. Speaker’s autonomy as a person have taken precedence over the
CDC’s desire to enforce public health law? Explain you answer.
2. In your opinion, did the CDC act ethically in involuntarily quarantine Mr. Speaker? Explain you answer.
3. Support your answers with facts/sources of reference.

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