Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 

This article is an essay on ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs. Study it to learn how to write ethical essays and gain insights into how you can get expert essay writing help.

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 


  • 2 – 3-page paper due on the ethical and legal implications of the scenario below:
  • “You see another nurse practitioner writing a prescription for her husband, who is not a patient of the nurse practitioner. The prescription is for a narcotic. You can’t decide whether or not to report the incident.”
  • Explain the ethical and legal implications of the scenario you selected on all stakeholders involved, such as the prescriber, pharmacist, patient, and patient’s family.
  • Describe strategies to address disclosure and nondisclosure as identified in the scenario you selected. Be sure to reference laws specific to your state.
  • Explain two strategies that you, as an advanced practice nurse, would use to guide your decision-making in this scenario, including whether you would disclose your error. Be sure to justify your explanation.
  • Explain the process of writing prescriptions, including strategies to minimize medication errors.

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 



Prescriptive jurisdiction over prohibited drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical services, and medical equipment varies. Their recommendations are also influenced by ethical duties. Medical mistakes, which have become a serious issue in the healthcare system, are prevented through prescriptive legislation. Medical mistakes are responsible for around 250,000 fatalities in the United States each year.

Furthermore, behind heart disease and cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classified medical mistakes as the third leading cause of death in 2016. (Sabatino et al., 2017). This study investigates a scenario of a nurse prescribing to their spouse who is not her patient in order to better understand the ethical and legal problems surrounding prescription.

Legal and ethical consequences

This situation has ethical and legal ramifications, such as failing to record the patient’s examination and failing to evaluate their prior medical history before prescribing. Narcotics, on the other hand, are regulated substances whose prescriptions must adhere to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) guidelines (DEA, n.d). As a result, if the nurse is not DEA-authorized to administer restricted medications, she is clearly breaking the law.

The nurse, on the other hand, was not the patient’s nurse practitioner and did not confer with her before prescribing. Prescriptions should include legal counsel and discussion about assessment documentation and treatment, which might lead to medical mistakes. Prescription restricted medications such as narcotics to family members or friends may result in charges of drug diversion or, at the very least, irresponsible prescribing (Ladd & Hoyt, 2016). As a result, if the nurse fills out the improper prescription form, they may be charged with fraud.

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 

Strategies for dealing with nondisclosure and disclosure

Nurses have an ethical obligation to give facts so that the patient may make an educated choice. This is in line with the ethical notion of autonomy. In terms of law, the bill of rights promotes full disclosure of medical mistakes (Ladd & Hoyt, 2016). In this circumstance, the nurse should report the issue to other medical personnel and the patient using the ethical principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, fairness, and autonomy.

Autonomy is one of the two tactics I would use in this situation. I’d contact the patient and explain the legal and ethical procedures involved in my situation, as well as admit that I made a mistake that might damage him. I’d also consult with his nurse practitioner to discuss the proper method I should have used and to bring out any potential consequences. In addition, I would express regret for the medical mistake and offer to reimburse the financial costs related to it.

Prescription writing procedure

It is essential to follow the prescription writing procedure in order to avoid medical mistakes. Prescriptions are written by licensed medical professionals. Controlled drugs are only prescribed under certain circumstances and by DEA-certified nurses. Filling and picking up prescription pills in a clear and readable way is part of the prescription writing procedure. Prescriptions include the prescriber’s name and address, the date of prescription, the drug’s name, and its strength (Porter, 2017). A label with administration instructions on how often and how much to take is also necessary.

Patients should be given clear and comprehensive information in order to reduce medication mistakes. Warnings, side effects, and allergies should all be taken into consideration. The prescription’s clarity guarantees that the pharmacist administers the proper medications to patients. It is also necessary for a prescriber of controlled substances to be DEA-certified and to follow the prescriptive standards in order to assure drug safety and reduce addiction.

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 

Do not hesitate to contact our professionals at Writing service if you feel you need help with your essay on ethical and legal implications of prescribing drugs even after going through our example guide.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is ethics in prescribing?

The notion of informed consent is another facet of law and ethics that applies to prescription. The doctor must clearly explain why the suggested drug is being prescribed, as well as the treatment expectations and pharmaceutical adverse effects.

2. What are ethical considerations in medication administration?

Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 
Administration of Medicine

Autonomy and right to self-determination, beneficence and nonmaleficence, disclosure and right to information, and honesty are the four ethical principles that may be applied to medical mistakes.

3. What are the key responsibilities of prescribing?

  • Assess and characterize the patient’s issue.
  • Determine the pharmacological therapy’s therapeutic goal.
  • Choose the best medicine for you.
  • Provide information, cautions, and directions to patients.
  • Regularly check on the patient.

Additional content on the topic.


  • Drug Enforcement Administration. (n.d.-a). Code of federal regulations. Retrieved February 1, 2019, from
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices. (2017). List of error-prone abbreviations, symbols, and dose designations. Retrieved from
  • Ladd, E., & Hoyt, A. (2016). Shedding light on nurse practitioner prescribing. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 12(3), 166–173. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2015.09.17
  • Sabatino, J. A., Pruchnicki, M. C., Sevin, A. M., Barker, E., Green, C. G., & Porter, K. (2017). Improving prescribing practices: A pharmacist‐led educational intervention for nurse practitioner students. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(5), 248–254. doi:10.1002/2327- 6924.12446

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 

Essay on Ethical and Legal Implications of Prescribing Drugs 


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