Updated: 9/14/2019

Ethical Principles

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Core Ethical Principles
  • There are 4 core ethical principles
  • Autonomy
    • respecting patients as individuals
    • honoring patient's preferences in medical care
      • the patient's preferences take priority when making medical decisions
      • therefore, the decider of decisions is patient word > living will > next of kin 
    • respecting confidentiality
  • Beneficence
    • acting in patient's best interest
    • balance autonomy and beneficence, but autonomy trumps beneficence 
  • Nonmaleficence
    • "do no harm"
  • Justice
    • distributive Justice
      • governs allocation of limited resources
    • formal Justice
      • equals must be treated equally
Other Principles
  • Breaking bad news
    • set up the interview
    • assess the patient's perception
    • obtain the patient's invitation (i.e. permission)
    • give the patient the necessary knowledge
    • address the patient's emotions with empathetic responses
  • Patients (in general) have a right to know their diagnoses  
    • if patient's do not want to know the diagnosis always assess why rather than merely obeying first 
  • Open-ended questions are the best way to elicit a patient history; closed-ended questions are useful for follow-up or clarification
  • Many patient encounters necessitate a combination of the above ethical principles--a few general principles include:    
    • encourage open communication between patients and other treating physicians
    • attempt to preserve the patient's relationship with other health-care providers.
    • nonetheless, ensuring that the patient is receiving the best available care is always the primary priority 
    • if a mistake is discovered the physician should disclose that to patient/family 
    • for difficult patients demonstrate empathy and make a plan together so they feel involved 
  • Privacy and the doctor-patient relationship
    • all patients, regardless of age, should have the option of speaking to their physician alone
    • this includes adolescents, spouses, and elderly adults
    • inappropriate patient requests should be politely denied since it can encourage future inappropriate behavior 
  • Conflicts of interest:
    • physicians should report conflicts of interest
    • physicians can accept honoraria and be compensated for travel expenses, but cannot have assistance with slide presentations from pharmaceutical companies 
  • Capacity
    • physician's can determine capacity which is the ability for the patient to understand their treatment as well as the risks, benefits and alternatives
    • competence is a legal designation and can not be determined by a physician
  • Pediatric considerations
    • parents cannot refuse life or limb saving treatment for their child  

 

 

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Questions (11)
Lab Values
Blood, Plasma, Serum Reference Range
ALT 8-20 U/L
Amylase, serum 25-125 U/L
AST 8-20 U/L
Bilirubin, serum (adult) Total // Direct 0.1-1.0 mg/dL // 0.0-0.3 mg/dL
Calcium, serum (Ca2+) 8.4-10.2 mg/dL
Cholesterol, serum Rec: < 200 mg/dL
Cortisol, serum 0800 h: 5-23 μg/dL //1600 h:
3-15 μg/dL
2000 h: ≤ 50% of 0800 h
Creatine kinase, serum Male: 25-90 U/L
Female: 10-70 U/L
Creatinine, serum 0.6-1.2 mg/dL
Electrolytes, serum  
Sodium (Na+) 136-145 mEq/L
Chloride (Cl-) 95-105 mEq/L
Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Bicarbonate (HCO3-) 22-28 mEq/L
Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.5-2.0 mEq/L
Estriol, total, serum (in pregnancy)  
24-28 wks // 32-36 wks 30-170 ng/mL // 60-280 ng/mL
28-32 wk // 36-40 wks 40-220 ng/mL // 80-350 ng/mL
Ferritin, serum Male: 15-200 ng/mL
Female: 12-150 ng/mL
Follicle-stimulating hormone, serum/plasma Male: 4-25 mIU/mL
Female: premenopause: 4-30 mIU/mL
midcycle peak: 10-90 mIU/mL
postmenopause: 40-250
pH 7.35-7.45
PCO2 33-45 mmHg
PO2 75-105 mmHg
Glucose, serum Fasting: 70-110 mg/dL
2-h postprandial:<120 mg/dL
Growth hormone - arginine stimulation Fasting: <5 ng/mL
Provocative stimuli: > 7ng/mL
Immunoglobulins, serum  
IgA 76-390 mg/dL
IgE 0-380 IU/mL
IgG 650-1500 mg/dL
IgM 40-345 mg/dL
Iron 50-170 μg/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase, serum 45-90 U/L
Luteinizing hormone, serum/plasma Male: 6-23 mIU/mL
Female: follicular phase: 5-30 mIU/mL
midcycle: 75-150 mIU/mL
postmenopause 30-200 mIU/mL
Osmolality, serum 275-295 mOsmol/kd H2O
Parathyroid hormone, serume, N-terminal 230-630 pg/mL
Phosphatase (alkaline), serum (p-NPP at 30° C) 20-70 U/L
Phosphorus (inorganic), serum 3.0-4.5 mg/dL
Prolactin, serum (hPRL) < 20 ng/mL
Proteins, serum  
Total (recumbent) 6.0-7.8 g/dL
Albumin 3.5-5.5 g/dL
Globulin 2.3-3.5 g/dL
Thyroid-stimulating hormone, serum or plasma .5-5.0 μU/mL
Thyroidal iodine (123I) uptake 8%-30% of administered dose/24h
Thyroxine (T4), serum 5-12 μg/dL
Triglycerides, serum 35-160 mg/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3), serum (RIA) 115-190 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3) resin uptake 25%-35%
Urea nitrogen, serum 7-18 mg/dL
Uric acid, serum 3.0-8.2 mg/dL
Hematologic Reference Range
Bleeding time 2-7 minutes
Erythrocyte count Male: 4.3-5.9 million/mm3
Female: 3.5-5.5 million mm3
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (Westergren) Male: 0-15 mm/h
Female: 0-20 mm/h
Hematocrit Male: 41%-53%
Female: 36%-46%
Hemoglobin A1c ≤ 6 %
Hemoglobin, blood Male: 13.5-17.5 g/dL
Female: 12.0-16.0 g/dL
Hemoglobin, plasma 1-4 mg/dL
Leukocyte count and differential  
Leukocyte count 4,500-11,000/mm3
Segmented neutrophils 54%-62%
Bands 3%-5%
Eosinophils 1%-3%
Basophils 0%-0.75%
Lymphocytes 25%-33%
Monocytes 3%-7%
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin 25.4-34.6 pg/cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration 31%-36% Hb/cell
Mean corpuscular volume 80-100 μm3
Partial thromboplastin time (activated) 25-40 seconds
Platelet count 150,000-400,000/mm3
Prothrombin time 11-15 seconds
Reticulocyte count 0.5%-1.5% of red cells
Thrombin time < 2 seconds deviation from control
Volume  
Plasma Male: 25-43 mL/kg
Female: 28-45 mL/kg
Red cell Male: 20-36 mL/kg
Female: 19-31 mL/kg
Cerebrospinal Fluid Reference Range
Cell count 0-5/mm3
Chloride 118-132 mEq/L
Gamma globulin 3%-12% total proteins
Glucose 40-70 mg/dL
Pressure 70-180 mm H2O
Proteins, total < 40 mg/dL
Sweat Reference Range
Chloride 0-35 mmol/L
Urine  
Calcium 100-300 mg/24 h
Chloride Varies with intake
Creatinine clearance Male: 97-137 mL/min
Female: 88-128 mL/min
Estriol, total (in pregnancy)  
30 wks 6-18 mg/24 h
35 wks 9-28 mg/24 h
40 wks 13-42 mg/24 h
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids Male: 3.0-10.0 mg/24 h
Female: 2.0-8.0 mg/24 h
17-Ketosteroids, total Male: 8-20 mg/24 h
Female: 6-15 mg/24 h
Osmolality 50-1400 mOsmol/kg H2O
Oxalate 8-40 μg/mL
Potassium Varies with diet
Proteins, total < 150 mg/24 h
Sodium Varies with diet
Uric acid Varies with diet
Body Mass Index (BMI) Adult: 19-25 kg/m2
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(M2.OMB.18.1) A 73-year-old man is admitted to the hospital for jaundice and weight loss. He is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and speaks little English. A CT scan is performed showing a large mass at the head of the pancreas. When you enter the room to discuss these results with the patient, his daughter and son ask to speak with you outside of the patient's room. They express their desire to keep these results from their father. What is the appropriate response in this situation? Review Topic | Tested Concept

QID: 210452
1

Consult the hospital ethics committee

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2

Deliver the information in Spanish

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3

Explore the reasoning behind the children's request

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Respect the children's wishes to hold prognosis information

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Tell the children that you are obligated to tell the father

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(M2.OMB.18.1) A 72-year-old man is admitted to the hospital with a productive cough and fever. A chest radiograph is obtained and shows a lobar consolidation. The patient is diagnosed with pneumonia. He has a history of a penicillin and cephalosporin allergy. The attending physician orders IV levofloxacin as empiric therapy. On morning rounds the next day, the team discovers that the patient was administered ceftriaxone instead of levofloxacin. The patient has already received a full dose of ceftriaxone and had developed hives overnight which were treated with diphenhydramine. He is currently feeling better. Which of the following is the most appropriate next step in management? Review Topic | Tested Concept

QID: 210454
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Continue with ceftriaxone and use diphenhydramine as needed

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2

Desensitize the patient to ceftriaxone and continue treatment

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3

Discuss the error that occurred with the patient

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4

Inform the patient that nursing gave the wrong medication and it has been corrected

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Switch the medication to levofloxacin

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