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Transcript of Ethical Dilemma
Samantha Fontaine To Sell or Not to Sell The Dentist and Hygienist Dr. Chris Hunt has worked in private practice for 10 years. He was associated with a large dental practice for three years after graduating until buying his own practice. Shifting Gears Dr. Hunt recently completed a continuing education course on aesthetic dentistry and hired a practice management company to review his office.
The director and management team stressed the necessity to have the hygienist sell products and services related to aesthetic dentistry to the patients, such as whitestrips. The Dilemma Lisa voices her concerns to Dr. Hunt, and he responds by telling her that she is in fact helping her patients by educating them on the highest quality dental care. He also tries to entice her by telling her that he will be offering cash bonuses for each item she sells.
Lisa feels that this will cause her to eventually put her own economic self-interest before what is actually best for her patients. The Dilemma When Dr. Hunt explains to Lisa that she needs to help "sell dentistry" to her patients, she becomes uncomfortable because she feels she will be taking advantage of her patients and the trust she has built in their relationships. Ethical Principles Being Violated Veracity- being honest and telling the truth
Beneficence- using all available means to benefit the patient
Nonmalficence- one ought to do or promote good
Autonomy- allowing the patient to make decisions and informed consent
Is aesthetic dentistry really the highest dental quality? Lisa, the hygienist, has worked for Dr. Hunt for 3 years. She enjoys her job and has a busy schedule. She prides herself on the trust she has built in the relationship with her patients. Possible Solutions 1. Do as the dentist requests, and sell the aesthetic dentistry products and services.
2. Speak with the dentist again, telling him that selling patients products they don't need is unethical. (This could lead to her losing her job.)
3. Keep working as normal, without trying to sell products to patients. (This could lead to her being replaced.)
4. Look for another job elsewhere, where she can keep trust in her relationships with her patients. Our Solution We decided that the best solution for Lisa is for her to look for a new job where she won't have to sell aesthetic dentistry, so that she can feel comfortable where she works, and she will be able to build trust with her new patients.
Dr. Hunt is not breaking any laws in the Practice Act, though his motives are "unethical." ADA Code of Ethics Section 5: Veracity: "truthfulness"
5.B.6 Unnecessary Services: "A dentist who recommends and performs unnecessary dental services or procedures is engaged in unethical conduct." Case Study Questions 1. What aspects of informed consent are involved in this case?
2. What are Lisa's obligations to her patients in this situation?
3. Why is trust so important between a hygienist and her patients? 5.D.2. Marketing or sale of products or procedures
"Dentists who, in the regular conduct of their practices, engage in or employ
auxiliaries in the marketing or sale of products or procedures to their patients must take care not to exploit the trust inherent in the dentist-patient relationship for their own financial gain. Dentists should not induce their patients to purchase products or undergo procedures by misrepresenting the product’s value, the necessity of the procedure or the dentist’s professional expertise in recommending
the product or procedure." References https://blackboard.wichita.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-487634-dt-content-rid-3552447_1/courses/DH-407-26943-201320/code_of_ethics_2012.pdf ADA Code of Ethics