Ethical Decision: Decision Model II
The ethical dilemma in this case is whether or not to treat the patient who needs an endodontic consultation. The patient needs to have his RCT retreated, but he requires an endodontic consultation first. He however declares that he trusts me to undertake the procedure without any need for endodontic consultation. The options open to me would be to not treat the patient until he undergoes the proper endodontic consultation. Second is to retreat the patient’s RCT without the endodontic consultation, and lastly to not refer the patient to other dentists who may agree to retreatment of the RCT without the endodontic consultation.
From an ethical standpoint, I would not treat the patient until he secures the necessary endodontic consultation (Naidoo & Du Toit, 2014). The endodontic consultation is necessary in this case because its results can help generate the best decisions for the patient’s root canal. This option would be the best option for the patient in terms of his safety and his well-being and without the endodontic consult, I may be worsening the patient’s dental issue (Beemsterboer, 2016). It is therefore better to insist on the endodontic consult first before any decision is made on the retreatment of the RCT. The patient’s monetary concern must not be prioritized over his well-being (Naidoo & Du Toit, 2014). Choosing to undertake the retreatment of the RCT without the endodontic consultation would be a risky decision which would not ensure the well-being of the patient (Beemsterboer, 2016). Within the medical context, the well-being of the patient has to be placed above other considerations especially as medical risks can sometimes make the patient’s condition worse, or sometimes endanger his life.
1. Beemsterboer, P. L. (2016). Ethics and law in dental hygiene. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences.
2. Naidoo, S., & Du Toit, J. (2014). Planning for treatment ethically: dental ethics. South African Dental Journal, 69(8), 374-375.