The Concept of Ethical Dilemmas Presented by: Pauline Ansine BSN RN
What is Ethics?
The code of conduct or behavior governing an individual or a group (as the members of the profession).
The complex of ideas, beliefs or standards that characterizes or pervades a group, community or people.
The Merriam WebstersThesaurus
What is a Dilemma?
A difficult problem seemingly incapable of a satisfactory solution.
A situation involving choice between equally unsatisfactory alternatives.
Aroskar et al
Merriam Webster Dictionary
Definitions 0f Ethical Dilemmas
Ethi cal dilemmas are situations involving conflicting morals claims, and give rise in such questions as :
What ought I to do?
What harm and benefit result from this decision or actions?
What is good (virtue) or what is duty (right)?
Aroskar et al
Ethical Dilemmas in Business
Informational and emotional deception in negotiation.
Managers’ moral reasoning.
Managerial and technical work
Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work
Ethical dilemma occurs when social workers must choose between two contradictory ethical principles or directives.
Conflict may arise between patients, families, agency staffs, and government regulations.
Tensions may arise in homecare.
National Association of Social Workers
Social Workers dilemma
Social workers reported that the most common issues were patient competence and confusion because of the lack of advance directives.
Three possible areas of decision making have been Identified:
Using all possible means to keep the patients alive (ordinary & extraordinary means).
2. Surgeons experience ethical dilemmas in deciding the right treatment in different situations.
3.Taking some “positive” steps to hasten individual’s death.
Ethical Dilemmas Physicians Faced
Pope Pius XII statement in 1957
– “ One is held to use only ordinary means according to circumstances of persons, places, times and culture – means that do not involve any grave burden to oneself or another.”
Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing
The challenge of decision making .
The sanctity of life vs the quality of life.
Truth-telling – the question “am I going to die? This raises important issues about truth telling.
Situation on Truth Telling
A Patient’s Right to Know the Truth
Carolyn , age 21, is dying of leukemia. She wants to know what is happening to her. However, her devoted mother believes in shielding Carolyn from this prognosis. Nurse A believes client, who repeatedly ask about her worsening signs and symptoms, has a right to know the truth. Carolyn’s mother , a wealthy, influential woman, threatens to sue the hospital if her daughter finds out that she is dying.
Nurse A wishes to support the patient’s right to know the truth. Nurse B wishes to acquiesce to the mothers wishes.
As a professional nurse, what would you do in this situation??
Nursing Students’ Experiences
Resolution of the conflict.
Rational for resolution.
Conflict about the right thing to do.
Unethical attitudes and behaviors of practicing nurses and doctors .
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