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Ethical Dilemma


Ethical Dilemma

Scenario Summary:

  • Situation: A customer requires a particular kind of medicine and it has been found out that there is a shortage in the pharmacy for that particular medicine.
  • Context: The pharmacy was facing a shortage of medicine due to manufacturing issues and it has been found that there are limited options for medicine to it available in the market.
  • Stakeholders: The patient who required the medicine, the pharmacy staff, the pharmacist the physician who guided about it, regulatory bodies and potentially other healthcare personnel involved in the patient’s care.

Ethical Dilemma: The ethical dilemma raises from the issue of the issue to provide proper care to the patient and the limitations done by the medicine shortage. The pharmacist and other stakeholders face the challenge of getting the best course of action to ensure the patient’s health while considering the available option and potential risks.

Situation: From the data gathered the situation that comes or fits the situation best is the patient arrives at the pharmacy with a prescription for the medicine. The pharmacy staff realized that the medicine was not available due to the shortage and that there was a limited option to offer the patient (Badreldin & Atallah, 2021).

How it Became an Issue and Outcome: The ethical issue arises as the pharmacy staff and the pharmacist depends on the available options. It will be much better if they have considered the risks and benefits of different medicines and delays in obtaining the needed medicine and the patient’s current medical needs. Ultimately the pharmacist talked with the prescribing physician to explore other available treatment options and reached a decision on the best possible option for the patient. The outcome would depend on the specific course of action chosen which could involve using a different medicine or getting help from the other pharmacies for supply or collaborating with the physician to find a different solution.

Legal Issues: Legal issues may arise if the chosen course of action involves a particular condition before the use of a medicine. As potential issues may arise from different treatments or failure to follow specific regulations or guidelines established by regulatory bodies. Without specific details, it is not possible to determine if there were any legal issues in this particular case. (Fox & McLaughlin, 2018).

Valuing Stakeholder Contributions: The valuation of stakeholder contributions may vary in this scenario depending on their importance and role in the patient’s care. Some stakeholders such as the patient and the pharmacist will play a major role in their contributions in finding a suitable solution to cure the problem in the best possible manner. Other stakeholders such as regulatory bodies may help in the situation based on issues with guidelines and regulations. The level of appreciation for every individual contribution will going to depend on the specific perspectives and priorities of each stakeholder.

Position of Authority: If I were in a position of authority as the pharmacist I would have acted mostly similarly by considering the available option consulting with the prescribing physician and prioritizing the patient’s well-being. Rather than this some of the things that I could have done differently is as follows, I would also focus on clear and effective communication with all stakeholders involved ensuring that they understand the situation’s potential risks and the chosen course of action. I would proactively explore options for resolving the shortage issue in the long term such as collaborating with regulatory bodies and manufacturers to prevent similar situations in the future. Things that I would have done are nothing different from the scenario I would have done similar things in that time so that the best result can be provided to the patient.

Lessons Learned: Some of the most important lessons from this case are as follows:

  • The importance of maintaining clear and effective communication and collaboration with all the major stakeholders involved in patient care so that needed care can be provided to the person in the given time frame.
  • The need for pre-planning and mitigation or contingency strategies to solve medicine shortages and similar challenges has to be done in order to perform in a much better way.
  • The importance of ethical decision-making considering the patient’s need or requirements and at the same time balancing the limitations and available options.
  • The value of staying updated with current guidelines regulations and industry practices to ensure capabilities and minimize legal risks.
  • The possibility that ethical dilemmas may arise in the healthcare sector and it is essential to develop skills in ethical reasoning and decision-making to solve such situations effectively.




Badreldin, H. A., & Atallah, B. (2021). Global drug shortages due to COVID-19: impact on patient care and mitigation strategies. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 17(1), 1946-1949. Sci-Hub | Global drug shortages due to COVID-19: Impact on patient care and mitigation strategies | 10.1016/j.sapharm.2020.05.017 (

Fox, E. R., & McLaughlin, M. M. (2018). ASHP guidelines on managing drug product shortages. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 75(21), 1742-1750.




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