Each profession has a set of ethical codes and guidelines which they must adhere to in order to reach optimum trust and maintain professional relationships with their customer or patient. Breach of the specified code will result in damage of patient’s trust, credibility in one’s ability to work in their environment with a non- objective view and so forth. A Pharmacist’s main goal is to provide and assist patients in making the right judgment regarding their use of medication; anything that compromises the ethical code must be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly.
In a Pharmacy profession there are eight ethical codes of which five I will discuss; the first is to respect the relationship boundaries between a patient and a pharmacist (US Pharm D). There may arise cases where one wants to be objective and voice an opinion that doesn’t suit the role of a pharmacist, always remember that it’s a professional relationship regardless of how close one is to the patients outside of work; being unbiased makes it easier to rationally provide an answer.
In regard to this code, a pharmacist’s main goal is to maintain the trust of the patient which goes both ways; trust that the patient has listened and understood the use of the medication and will continuously use it the right manner, and in turn the patient trusts that you have provided to the best of your knowledge the most suitable medication. The theory that best fits the image portrayed by this code is Kant’s theory, “to always treat others as an end to themselves and never merely as means”, this means that a pharmacist isn’t promoting a specific drug and completely neglecting his patience health and terminating patients overall trust. The pharmacist should in no way lie to the patient while giving treatment even if their intention was for good. According to Kant’s theory good results never make an action morally right. Promoting the wellbeing of every patient in a caring compassionate and confidential manner is the secondary code of ethics (US Pharm D).
Emphasis on this code is on full responsibility of the patient and no other; to offer compassion and treat them in a private manner while maintaining patient’s dignity. Principle of beneficence provides a clear justification of this code in the state that advocates promotion for patient’s welfare. Signing up in a healthcare profession like pharmacy doesn’t requires extreme sacrifices with regard to the patient like a surgeon would; here there is no absolute duty and the act of beneficence isn’t maximized. For instance working in this field won’t require the professional to cancel their plans for a patients comfort. A balance is maintained between the patient’s and pharmacist’s level of selfishness. The third ethical code of a pharmacist is to “respect the autonomy and dignity of each patient” (US Pharm D). The code simply states that a pharmacist will communicate with a patient in such a way that will provide cohesive understanding and allow patient to partake in decision making process.
Pharmacist should allow patient the right to be self-determined as well as self-worth. Principle of autonomy best fits this model and affirms a patients right to utilize self-independence but only if the patient is able to make rational and sound judgment. That being said, if the patients fails to be sensible there exists an exception. The exception is justified by the principle of paternalism, meaning that other individuals who are taking care of the patient will have the right to decide instead and work with the pharmacist. Like all other professions that have a basic rule of honesty in their relationships, so does pharmacy. A pharmacist must act with a conscience mind, tell the truth, avoid actions that will render impaired judgment and compromise what the profession stands for as well as the patient’s well-being (US Pharm D).
This code mirrors initial ethical code of pharmacy pertaining to “conventional relationship between the patient and pharmacist” (US Pharm D); just as the initial code was validated by Kant’s moral theory so is this particular code. Under no circumstances should a patient be misled. This goes as far as to support the patient to be able to acknowledge whether the medication they are being giving is a placebo or not. Also principle of beneficence is in affect here due to maximizing welfare of patient, by telling the truth and being honest there is room for greater professional judgment. Principle of Utility justifies that pharmacist should act in a way to bring great benefit and less harm; again by being honest there is minimal room for error due to there being a lack of suppression of important information and communication.
Aside from honesty and maintaining patients trust, a prominent code would be regarding your capacity as a pharmacist (US Pharm D). A pharmacist has an obligation to stay on top of their field indicating that one must be up-to-date with the newest medication, technologies, and devices. Lack of knowledge will lead to poor analysis and endanger a patient’s health. Principle of nonmaleficence states that one doesn’t need malic to cause harm, ignorance as well can lead violating this code. Remember as pharmacist one must avoid harm and take full responsibility of a pharmacist professional role – in short there is no leeway in this ethical code, its absolute.