Consider the following scenarios:
Scenario 1: One of the physicians on staff is telling you about a study that he is doing on his patients. He hopes to have the study published and to receive a grant to expand his research. He offers to hire you to help him with the data collection during your off hours. You accept and begin helping him. You start collecting data. When you access the file the next day, you realize that he has removed a number of patients from the study. You suspect that they were removed intentionally, but you cannot be sure. You put your suspicions aside and proceed with your work and add more patients to the database. A few days later, more patients have been removed from the database. When you do some investigation, you discover that the patients who were removed were sicker and/or had a poor outcome. This is a problem and may prevent the rewarding of the grant money to this project.
Scenario 2: You are traveling with your work laptop to a conference and leave it for five minutes at the airport terminal as you go to the bathroom. You asked your colleague to keep an eye on it, but when you return, your colleague has boarded the plane and taken your belongings. As you look through, you realize your laptop is missing. When you confront your colleague, she says it was just there a moment ago and she is certain she brought it on board with her. Your laptop contains secure information regarding your organization and has remote access to your clinical information system. The policy at your organization for a data breach is to call tech support immediately and report the breach. You think it may just be misplaced and begin looking.
Choose one of the scenarios above and answer the following:
- What challenges are present in the scenario, and what are some steps that can be taken to address them?
- What is the relationship between ethics and policy? Do they always match up with one another?
- If individual ethics do not align with organizational policy, what might be the end result?
Support your answer with relevant resources.