1. Ethical but illegal: Working in a clinic that performs abortions can be considered ethical from a pro-choice perspective, as it respects a woman’s right to choose. However, it may be illegal in certain jurisdictions where abortion is restricted or prohibited.
2. Legal but unethical: Respecting the wishes of a client suffering from ALS that he be permitted to die with dignity and not placed on “breathing machines” may be legal in certain jurisdictions that have laws allowing for end-of-life decisions. However, some may argue that it is unethical to withhold life-sustaining treatment and not prioritize preserving life.
3. Illegal and unethical: Observing a coworker take out two tablets of oxycodone as ordered for pain management for his patient but keeping one for himself, administering only one tablet to the patient is both illegal and unethical. This behavior constitutes theft and potential harm to the patient.
4. Legal and ethical: Respecting the health surrogate’s wishes regarding termination of life support of her friend can be considered both legal and ethical. In many jurisdictions, individuals have the right to appoint a health surrogate who can make decisions regarding medical treatment on their behalf.
2. Deontological theories, utilitarianism, and principlism are ethical frameworks that guide decision-making in various fields, including healthcare.
Deontological theories focus on the duties and obligations individuals have in moral situations. They prioritize moral rules and principles, regardless of the consequences. For example, in healthcare, an ethical principle like beneficence, which means promoting the well-being of patients, is central to deontological theories.
Utilitarianism, on the other hand, emphasizes maximizing overall happiness or utility. It considers the consequences of actions and weighs the potential benefits versus harms to determine the morally right action. In healthcare, utilitarianism may involve making decisions that maximize the overall well-being of the greatest number of patients.
Principlism combines elements of both deontology and utilitarianism. It is based on a set of ethical principles, such as autonomy (respecting patients’ right to make decisions), beneficence (promoting the well-being of patients), non-maleficence (avoiding harm to patients), and justice (fair distribution of healthcare resources). Principlism seeks to balance these principles in ethical decision-making.
3. Disclosing information about a poor prognosis to clients can be a challenging ethical dilemma for healthcare professionals. On one hand, disclosing this information respects the principle of autonomy, allowing patients to make informed decisions about their healthcare. It also promotes transparency and honesty in the relationship between healthcare professionals and clients.
However, sharing a poor prognosis can cause severe distress to the client and their loved ones. It may lead to psychological harm, anxiety, and loss of hope. In some cases, healthcare professionals may need to consider the client’s emotional well-being and provide appropriate support before sharing such information.
Ultimately, the decision to disclose a poor prognosis should be based on a thorough assessment of the individual’s preferences, cultural beliefs, and psychological resilience. Healthcare professionals should exercise sensitivity, empathy, and personalized communication strategies to deliver the information in a manner that minimizes distress while respecting the principles of autonomy and honesty.
4. Disclosing information to clients against family wishes poses a complex ethical quandary. Family involvement and the preservation of trust within familial relationships are highly valued in many cultures. However, healthcare professionals have a legal and ethical duty to prioritize the well-being and autonomy of their individual clients.
In such situations, healthcare professionals need to balance the client’s right to information, individual autonomy, and potential harm caused by withholding important health-related information. There may be cases where overriding family wishes is necessary to fulfill the professional responsibility toward the client.
Nevertheless, healthcare professionals should approach such situations with sensitivity, taking into account cultural norms and the importance of maintaining constructive relationships with families. Open communication, respectful dialogue, and involving a professional ethics committee or mediator can help navigate these difficult ethical dilemmas.
5. Witnessing a colleague using another nurse’s password to access the medication administration system and take out a narcotic raises concerns about professional ethics and patient safety. This behavior is a violation of organizational policies and ethical standards, as it compromises patient trust and constitutes unauthorized access and potential drug diversion.
In this situation, immediate action is necessary. The appropriate course of action would involve reporting the incident to a supervisor or manager, following institutional reporting procedures, and providing a thorough and accurate account of the observed behavior. By doing so, the healthcare professional upholds their responsibility to patient safety and helps maintain the integrity of the healthcare system.
6. Witnessing a colleague using a patient’s identification number to obtain supplies for personal use raises significant ethical and legal concerns. This behavior is a breach of trust, unethical, and potentially illegal. The healthcare professional is misusing confidential patient information for personal gain and compromising the integrity of the healthcare system.
In such a situation, it is essential to report the incident to a supervisor or manager, following the organization’s reporting policies and procedures. The healthcare professional should provide a clear and accurate account of the observed behavior, including details about the colleague involved and any evidence supporting the claim. By taking appropriate action, the healthcare professional upholds ethical standards, protects patient confidentiality, and maintains the trust of patients and colleagues in the healthcare setting.
These are the first 800 words of the assignment. Remember to include an APA-style title page and a references page. In-text citations should also be used to support the information provided.