Patient Harm at the Hands of Impaired Clinicians
Many reports on the issue of drug and alcohol use among those in the medical profession have found that substance abuse is widespread. However, rigorous standards are in place to keep patients safe from negligently “high” doctors. But recently adding to the issue is the possible impact the legalization of sales and recreational use of marijuana in Illinois may have on a physician’s performance. Undoubtedly, some doctors and health care professionals are likely to take a personal interest in the consumption of legal pot, especially as environmental triggers and workplace stressors commonly felt by overworked medical professionals are known to drive a person toward chemical or substance dependencies.
We hope that these practitioners appreciate the boundaries related to performing the duty of care owed to their patients and that they understand some users may be incapable of fulfilling that duty and as a result – cause harm to their patients.