Case Study Virtue Ethics School

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Vignette 1 Michelle Smith Chat Time: Thursdays @ 9:00 pm Facilitator: Cara Henri A dental assistant is working with a dentist in the examination of a new patient. The patient has a severely abscessed tooth and will require extensive root canal work. As the assistant prepares for the invasive procedure, the patient mentions that his partner has recently died of AIDS and that he, too, has AIDS. The assistant freezes. He is afraid of getting infected with the AIDS virus. _No, he cannot refuse to assist the patient. There are many state and federal antidiscrimination statutes to protect patients from being refused service because of their sex, race, gender, socioculture status, or health status. The only exception to this would…show more content…
_If I were the assistant in question in this scenario, the ethical school of thought I would subscribe to would be the Virtue Ethics school of thought. The Virtue Ethics school of thought focuses on practical wisdom as well as moral character to solve these types of ethical issues. In this case, the patient does pose a certain risk to the healthcare providers since he does carry the AIDS virus, but practical wisdom tells me that, through the use of proper PPE and using caution and awareness, this risk is minimal and can be virtually eliminated altogether. On the other hand, if treatment were to be refused to this patient based on this slight and avoidable risk, the repercussions of that refusal would be much greater and more profound on my life and career than the risk of contracting AIDS through this procedure would be. Through this school of thought, the solution to the problem becomes obvious and I would continue to treat the patient while protecting myself with the use of gloves and other PPE as appropriate to the procedure. _Therefore, the problem is no longer a problem and the patient receives the treatment that he

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