Module F: Ethics in Ambulatory and Community-Based Health

CE Credits: 1.5


This module explores the ethical dilemmas that arise for case managers who work outside of hospital settings. Problems can happen, for instance, when determining if a patient’s care must be terminated (because, say, the patient is non-compliant), or when deciding whether the patent’s behavior falls under the guidelines or laws related to duty to report. Finally, the module looks at the functions of ethics committees, and how, in day-to-day encounters, the CM can responsibly handle duties regarding information disclosure and respecting patients’ selfdetermination.

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Discuss ethical challenges specific to patient termination and case closure
» Identify the distinction between mandated duty to report and ethical duty to act
» Describe the Tarasoff Ruling and its implications in duty to warn situations
» Address the function of the non-hospital ethics committee
» Describe how to identify and manage ethical dilemmas related to information disclosure
» Reconcile organizational expectations involving professional ethics and patient self-determination

Advance your professional practice:: Case managers can serve patients best when we have gained their trust. By having a firm grasp on our responsibilities to respect and protect the patients and families in our care, we can advocate strongly in their best interests.


Improve organizational performance: Having a strong code of ethics across our entire team helps not only the patient, but also helps solidify our standing as a healthcare organization. When we adhere to consistent ethical principles, we can build a reputation as a good corporate citizen, which translates into ongoing support in the community and in the marketplace.