Case Study Approaches to Ethical Dilemas

Topics: Family, Case study, Case study in psychology Pages: 6 (1161 words) Published: February 2, 2015


Case Study Approaches to Ethical Dilemmas
LaDonna Landry
BSHS 335
January 12, 2015
Nicole Zmuda

Case Study Approaches to Ethical Dilemmas
The case study I chose is that of six-year-old Tavion Robinson who was taken to Methodist Hospital by his father for a broken arm and abrasions. There were a couple of things in this case that could insinuate that the broken arm and abrasions were not an accident. The father being hesitant to leave Tavion alone with hospital staff was the first red flag that something could be wrong. Secondly, Mr. Robinson’s request that he be notified prior to releasing Tavion’s records to anyone. Thirdly, informing the Emergency Department that Tavion’s parents are divorced and that the mother the non-custodial parent may not access Tavion’s records without his consent. In retrospect not leaving him alone with staff could be the actions of very concerned father, releasing his information to just anyone is also understandable to protect his son’s privacy but to not allow the mother to access his records without his consent sends up a red flag immediately. When asked by the triage nurse how Tavion sustained his injuries the father informed the nurse that he fell from the jungle gym in the park. When Tavion was taken to the x-ray room his father was not allowed and the staff took the time to question Tavion about what happened in which he verified his father’s explanation. Although Tavion and his father gave the same story there seemed to be some inconsistencies due to the abrasions being clean and they would not have been if he truly fallen from the jungle gym and brought in right afterwards. Due to there still being some inconsistencies in the story to the hospital staff they also question Tavion about ever being afraid of being hurt by anyone at home while he was in the x-ray room in which he denied abuse or fear of being abused. The father request that the medical records not be released to anyone unless he was contacted even his child’s mother makes it seem as if he has something to hide. The following weekend Tavion’s mother requested documents from the Emergency Department visit. She suspects the father was physically abusing him and wanted to view documentation. I do believe that Tavion’s mother has the right to view his records especially if she suspects abuse. Along with the inconsistencies of the finding of the injuries and the suspicions of the mother I feel that this is enough reason to investigate the suspicion of child abuse. The concerns of the mother is valid and she also is aware of how the father handles his son on a day to day basis she isn’t suspicious for no reason at all. There is history amongst the adults before they divorced she knows how he was disciplined as a kid and he could be using the same discipline as that in which his parents used on him. The mother has several avenues that she can take on her suspicions she could talk to the social worker at the hospital, the Department of Family Protective Services or contact the police. The ethical issue we are dealing with is the mother wanting the hospital documents of her son’s visit and the father denying her access without him being consulted. Also the injuries not matching up to the father’s story. Confidentially will be the legal issue in this case regarding Tavion’s medical records. Of course the father’s request of being contact if there is a request to view the files makes him look suspicious and makes it appear he is hiding something. However, if the hospital staff suspects that there is abuse they are mandated to report it.

Discussion Questions

1. Is Tavion’s mother’s statement of concern of abuse sufficient to warrant further investigation by the hospital?

Tavion’s mother’s statement of concern of abuse is sufficient to warrant further investigation by the hospital. I believe that Tavion’s mother’s concern tells us that...

References: Grebner, L. A. (2009). Ethics case studies for health information management. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage.
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