The Case Of Janet K And Epilepsy Case Study

1509 Words 7 Pages
Termination due to medical condition or disability is illegal and as it violates the laws enforced by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the book Medical Law and Ethics, by Bonnie F. Fremgen she describes a case study, "The case of Janet K. and Epilepsy" on Chapter 8. "The Case of Janet K. and Epilepsy" describes the discrimination faced by employees. This case study will analyze the wrongful discharge of Janet, due to her epilepsy. It will further examine the legal action she could have taken and the ethical issues concerning a person with a disability working in a hospital. Analysis of the how this termination could have been avoided and the need of reasonable accommodations as stated in the Americans with Disabilities
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Fremgen, she describes a case study, "The case of Janet K. and Epilepsy". Janet was a 27-year-old nursing graduate. From a very young age, she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which causes seizures (Mayo Clinic, 2017). As a result of her diagnosis, she suffered from seizures. Her condition was under control with the help of medications, and she graduated from a nursing program. Janet wanted to follow her passion for becoming a scrub nurse at a University teaching hospital, where she did her clinical work. Due to her history of seizures, the administers deemed she was not fit to become a scrub nurse, and instead, offered her a position in the medical records. Her seizures returned at least once every month, as she started to work in the medical records. Janet's colleagues avoided her, due to their lack of knowledge of how to handle Janet when she has a seizure episode. While at work, Janet had a seizure and a physician who was sitting next to her, helped her. The physician contacted the hospital administrator and expressed his concern regarding the bad image the hospital would be portraying by having Janet as an employee. The hospital decided to end only Janet's employment because of department downsizing. Janet passed away five years later because of a brain …show more content…
An employer's job is to make sure all of their employees are protected and to provide a safe work environment. Janet's employer could have made reasonable accommodations to avoid environmental triggers of seizures such as installing anti-glare filters, reducing the brightness, or a training on how to handle someone who has seizures. Janet's collogues started to avoid her out of fear and lack of their knowledge of epilepsy. The employer should have conducted a training program or send out information on how to take care of someone who is suffering from medical conditions such as seizures right in front of them, without violating Janet's privacy. The lack of sensitivity training towards coworkers lead to the physician who is knowledgeable of epilepsy, to ask the administration to fire her. It was not wrong of him to be concerned, but it was wrong for the administration to follow the physician's advice of firing her. The physician might not have known the legalities, but the administration must have known that termination of an employee due to their disability is illegal. Janet's employer failed to protect Janet and make sure her work environment was safe, protected and

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