Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Lesson 6

Contextual features

All clinical encounters occur within a wider social context of family, friends, work, culture, and resources. Since SM’s case was not fully investigated, it is unclear if he had family or friends. In addition, the providers may have had a knowledge deficit related to the management of alcohol dependency and assumed that SM was drug seeking. The regional authorities have the resources to support withdrawal and dependency treatment; however, this was not offered. There may have been competing cases in the ER so the providers missed clues that SM was suffering from a serious medical condition. Stigma and bias related to dependency and mental health conditions compromised SM’s care.