1. Explain the issue or dilemma using information from the readings in the book and other sources.
In the case of Tomcik v. Ohio Dep’t of Rehabilitation & Correction, the main issue present was the medical negligence demonstrated by the staff of the medical clinic at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction towards the inmate Tomcik. Specifically, nonfeasance, or the “failure to act, when there is a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances” (Pozgar, 2016, p. 192), was displayed when the employees at the medical clinic failed to give immediate medical attention to Tomcik when she continually signed the clinic list and “provided the reason she was requesting medical care” (Pozgar, 2016, p. 202). Due to the fact that there was a long delay in diagnosis of her cancer, it resulted in the removal of Tomcik’s entire right breast, thereby causing both physical and emotional damage. In addition, there is the issue of medical malpractice when Dr. Evans failed to give Tomcik a thorough examination and a proper diagnosis. Failure to diagnose is a type of medical malpractice (Boeschen, n.d.).
2. What are the ethical theories most appropriate to apply this case and why?
An ethical theory that is most appropriate to apply to this case is consequentialism. By definition, consequentialism revolves around the presumption that an act is considered to be right or wrong depending upon whether the outcome turned out to be good or bad (Pozgar, 2016, p. 8). In the situation involving Tomcik, she ended up facing the end result of having her right breast removed and thereby led to both physical and emotional distress. This was all due to the fact that Dr. Evans h...
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... and the incredibly long delay in diagnosis and treatment. The negligence from Dr. Evans, along with the lack of medical attention sought out by Tomcik after she had first discovered the lump in her breast, may contribute to Tomcik’s life being in danger as well as the emotional anguish she may have felt during that time period. Overall, the incident of Tomcik’s expectations from the original physician and other employees at the institution not being met is an ethical issue that should be dealt with suitably.
4. Who are the stakeholders?
The stakeholders are the public. Frankly, this incident can happen to anyone, not just the prosecutor Tomcik in this case. Also, this case poses as an important lesson for the general population of healthcare providers, that they should not be negligent towards any kind of patient, regardless of his/her social rank or background.
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