Ethical and Legal Duties of Health Care Administrators

Ethical and Legal Duties of Health Care Administrators

Breaches of law and ethics can occur in all areas of health care. When this happens at higher levels of an organization the breach can have a particularly negative impact, because health care leaders set the tone for an entire organization. In this Discussion you will assess how administrators should address legal and ethical challenges in a selected case study, and describe the role administrators can and should play in ensuring that an organization adheres to sound ethical standards.

Review the following segments from this week’s Learning Resources, and select one of the scenarios on which to focus in your initial posting. (Note: In your response, you will address at least one colleague’s posting on the other scenario.)

  • Scenario: “Appearance May Not Be Reality” (pp. 272-273)
  • Scenario: “Corporate Coverup” (pp. 289-290)
  • Code of Ethics for Organizations (pp. 263-264)
  • ACHE Code of Ethics


To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Using your textbook’s descriptions of law and ethics, identify specific ethical and legal issues of your selected scenario.
  • What would you do in this position? The steps described in the article “An Organizational Ethics Decision-Making Process” will help you in this process. Identify elements in the ACHE Code of Ethics that apply in this scenario.
  • Consider the ways in which health care administrators can impact how others in the organization perform their legal and ethical duties. Besides modeling good behavior, what are the kinds of documents, policies, procedures, and other decisions an administrator can institute to set the tone within an organization about the importance of legal and ethical standards?


Post by Day 4 a response to the following:

  • Identify the scenario you selected in the first line of your posting.
  • Summarize the key ethical as well as legal issues in this case.
  • Which elements of the ACHE code of ethics would help you, as an administrator involved in this case, determine the right course of action to take? Explain why you think so.
  • Address one of the following:
    • If you are posting on “Appearance May Not Be Reality,” what would you do if you were in organization’s ethics comitee?
    • If you are posting on “Corporate Coverup,” what would you do if the state licensing agency had just appointed you as receiver of the nursing home, taking over from the prior management with the goal of improving care and keeping the home open?
  • In general, what is the role of administrators in preventing and addressing this kind of problem? In what ways can and should an administrator operationalize ethical and legal standards in an organization?

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings on both scenarios, selecting one posting to respond to that involves thescenario you did not yet address.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings on the scenario different from yours in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Expand on the colleague’s posting with additional insight and resources.
  • Offer polite disagreement or critique, supported with evidence.

In addition to, but not in place of the above, you may:

  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion or comment that guides or facilitates the Discussion.


Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made. No posting is required.

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