Establish and Manage a Practice

A defined code of ethics and a legal and regulatory structure is set to offer protection to both the patient and practitioner of Natural Medicine (AIPC’s Mental Health Social Support, 2014). While the ultimate law is to promote the overall wellbeing of the client, natural medicine practitioners are affected by additional ethics, laws, and regulations (Weir, 2016). In their duty of care, natural health practitioners are expected to establish a legal and ethical relationship with their clients. This relationship should be guided by the regulative elements of negligence, negligence conduct, causation, and damage (Lin, et al., 2019). Any harm caused to a client due to the practitioner’s negligence should be compensated. This emphasizes the competency of practitioners in relation to procedures and professional associations. The negligence conduct occurs when violation of an existing relationship or duty of care happens (Williams, 2020). This breach of care has to be examined to identify the cause. Causation is the element that has to show that violation of conduct is the main cause of the done damage. Once the problem has been defined in terms of negligence and causation, the damage is then compensated for. Under the legislative framework, Natural Medicine clinics are required to work under the Therapeutic Goods Administration, a healthy body that aims to ensure that the therapeutic goods offered to clients are safe and of good quality (Alex , 2019). The body tests and examines all the therapeutic goods used by natural medicine practitioners including herbs, vitamins, and other remedies. Therefore, the main legislation governing Natural Medicine practice requires the practitioner to ensure the utmost safety of the therapeutic goods components before use ( Department of Health & Human Services, 2014). Australian law also demands any unregistered clinic to meet the minimum requirements of the relevant professional association before operation ( LiangOoi, McLean, & CheonPaka, 2018). This is to ensure that the ultimate protection is afforded to all stakeholders and the overall practice of complementary medicine. The code of ethics defining natural medicine practice explains the principles enhancing the relationship between healthcare practitioners and the patients (Epstein & Turner, 2015). The first principle, autonomy, ensures that an adult patient is well informed and allowed to make personal decisions based on his values and understanding (Vernon, Vernon, & Concannon, 2015). Beneficence directs practitioners to act in the most favorable way to the client and not theirs. Non-maleficence directs practitioners to provide the utmost benefits that prevent or control any harm in patients. Lastly, justice should prevail by ensuring that all clients are handled and treated in an equal and fairway (Zheng, 2014 ).

In the case study, the following are the violations on the code of ethics, and the legal and regulatory breaches. One of the ethical principles breached at the ‘Heal U Natureally Clinik’ is autonomy. The practitioner administered the treatment strategy by simply looking at the patient without even consulting or asking what was wrong. Besides, upon the patient’s questioning, the practitioner said that only he knew the formulas for the local remedies used to treat him. The client was not given a chance to make his own decision nor informed on the treatment strategy to be used. The ethical principle of beneficence was not met because the clinic does not meet the expectations and interests of the client such as privacy (Murgic, Hébert, Sovic, & Pavlekovic, 2015). The client’s complaint about the openness of the area of treatment in the house goes unconsidered and unaddressed. The practitioner again breaches non-maleficence by deliberately harming the patient (NORCAL GROUP , 2017). Besides the patient being forced to move to the upper floor room on crutches, the newels and handrail system were ruined. On the other hand, the clinic does not meet the legal guidelines on the use of complementary medicines (Department of Health, 2018). The practitioner’s herbal medicines should not be secret (Chebii, Muthee, & Kiemo , 2020). The client should be informed of the contents and the homeopathic procedures of preparation. This is to confirm that herbal medicine is non-toxic and safe for therapeutic use (Soo-youn, 2017). Although unregistered with a Professional Association, the natural medicine clinic practitioner ought to meet the minimum requirements set by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Department of Health, 2019). The regulation breaches enacted by the Natural Medicine specialist include the aspect of not putting forward the interests of the client nor adhering to the professional scope of practice (hcpc, 2018). As from the case study, when the client feels insecure and opts to seize the treatment process, the practitioner rudely shouts at her. This is against the professional scope of practice where the practitioner should informatively express her qualifications and capabilities (Natural University of Natural Medicine , 2019). The client should be assured of safety. However, the Natural Medicine practitioner rudely comments that she is a busy practitioner and that she even educates other practitioners with her top notch techniques.

The above violations by the practitioner on the code of ethics and the legal and regulatory framework have huge consequences. For instance, the ethical code breach of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence would attract legal action through criminal prosecution in a civil case (Gray, Fox, & Hobson-West , 2018). This can be handled by a professional association or the Health Services Commissioner through their investigations. Patients like to be given a lot of information and advice and their questions answered. They should be allowed to fully take part in making decisions. Consequently, this natural health practitioner is liable to the patient taking a civil action against her (Victoria State Government;, 2014). These breaches could also result in a cancelation of both the natural medical health program and its right to practice. It may also call for regulatory body interventions where all practices are examined thoroughly and enforcement actions input to prevent future cases of harm. In extreme cases, the unregistered clinic can be authorized to operate only until statutory registration is acquired. In other less extreme cases, a code regulation regime would be enforced for legislative and regulatory protection purposes. The clinic would also suffer from permanent prohibition, negative licensing, independent investigations, and court prosecutions (POZGAR, 2020).

In the case of patient dissatisfaction and lack of a proper patient-practitioner relationship, a patient has the right to withdraw consent or clinical trial at any time given that she is capable of making her own decisions ( Sacristán, et al., 2016). Getting treatment from the case study practitioner would possibly result in a negative outcome. This is mainly because the practitioner does not initially consult the client about what exactly was wrong. He simply goes ahead to administer treatment based on personal preferences and one-side judgment. Upon questioning, the practitioner gets angry and views it as a waste of time. This is wrong because the client has a right to full medical closure (Kadivar, Manookian, Asghari, Niknafs, Okazi, & Zarvani, 2017). The client has to be assured of safety by being given a complete analysis of the medical strategy and alternative options. Patients have a right to informative communication with their practitioners which includes information on the potential benefits and risks from the treatment procedure (Taouk, Marie, Moore, & Sklar, 2020). They should also be offered quality time and space to make decisions. The offended client can submit her complaint to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission to seek prosecution of the practitioner (Walton, Carney, Chiarella, & Kelly, 2017). The commission has a right to offer negative licensing or prohibition orders to a breaching practitioner. She could alternatively use the South Australian Scheme to receive support relating to her experience (Eyk, Harris, Baum, Delany-Crowe, Lawless, & MacDougall, 2017 ). Although she could successfully report complaints through professional associations, it is advisable to use relevant health departments and or HCEs for accurate assessments (Victorian Department of Health, 2015).


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