Discussion 5 Respond
Discussion 1 (Mentor)
Ethical dilemmas in nursing occur when a nurse is forced to choose from two or more options that tend to impact the welfare of a perceptive being. The available options which the nurse should choose from are mostly justifiable to be good. However, the person subjected to the situation must be sure of the most effective and efficient option to attain the desired results (Rainer et al., 2018). Choosing one position contains uncertainties that make an individual hesitate when subjected to a situation that requires careful selection.
The nursing field contains various situations that call for the medical providers to make critical decisions that significantly impact the course of action (Rainer et al., 2018). Therefore, nursing professionals must be trained on the same subjects and common skills in the learning institutions to handle ethical dilemmas in real-life situations (Haahr et al., 2020). Nonetheless, applying the acquired skills at the end of the training depends on the nursing practitioner’s knowledge. Furthermore, the clinical setting tends to influence the skills at the disposal of the nursing healthcare provider. While hospitals struggle to adopt procedures to promote smooth running within the health care setting, nurses face different challenging situations that need critical thinking. Ethical dilemmas are among such challenges since it depends on the understanding of every person and the expectations that need to be achieved (Haahr et al., 2020). Although nurses are concerned with the clients’ well-being, the unknown challenges need to be evaluated to solve the issue for desirable results.
A few months ago, I was in a very challenging situation at work. It was on a Tuesday when I arrived at the clinic. A few moments later, a male patient was brought into the emergency room with a head injury that caused a lot of bleeding. The injury occurred after the patient was involved in a road accident. The patient was bleeding heavily, especially from the left side of the head. Thus quick intervention was necessary to control the situation as the patient waited for specialized medical attention. Unfortunately, the patient had been brought to the clinic by well-wishers. Therefore, there was no one to consent to the treatment. Also, the patient was in a critical condition to give consent. At this point, I was in a dilemma on how to approach the situation. However, guided by the ethical principle of beneficence that requires health professionals to consider any procedures to do good for patients, I embarked on providing first aid to control the bleeding before organizing for the patient to be transferred to an emergency room. Later on, the patient’s family visited the clinic and accused me of treating their patient without informed consent. As a result, the family declined to pay the medical expenses. Since failure to obtain informed consent is a crime, I was required to meet the medical costs and discharge the patient before full recovery.
Rainer, J., Schneider, J. K., & Lorenz, R. A. (2018). Ethical dilemmas in nursing: An integrative review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(19-20), 3446-3461. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14542 (Links to an external site.)
Haahr, A., Norlyk, A., Martinsen, B., & Dreyer, P. (2020). Nurses’ experiences of ethical dilemmas: A review. Nursing Ethics, 27(1), 258-272. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0969733019832941
Discussion 2 ( George)
An ethical dilemma is a challenge in deciding between two possible options which are not ethically accepted. In nursing field, it occurs when a nurse has to choose between two competing values and acknowledge the consequences (Faubion, 2022). Also, the ethical dilemma might be against the nurse’s code of ethics and personal values.
Jane was my client during my community health experience. She was a 30-year-old university student with twenty weeks of pregnancy and a devoted Christian who firmly believed that God was capable of doing anything to his followers. Moreover, she had a history of heart disease precipitated by pregnancy. The physicians and clinicians were concerned that pregnancy could precipitate her condition resulting in a life-threatening emergency. They explained that her pregnancy stresses the heart and circulatory system by increasing the blood volume to almost 50% to sustain the fetus. In addition, as the heart rate would increase as result of overload worsening her condition (Mayo clinic, 2022). Also, the team demonstrated how labor and delivery could add to hearts workload. They told her that pushing during delivery would lead to abrupt blood flow and pressure changes, which was a threat to her life. After further consultation, the health team recommended abortion in the next three weeks. Jane was unwilling, stating she was raised in Christ, believing abortion is sin and God was in control. She wanted to know if I was in her position. I believe in abortion only on the medical ground, her condition included.
Usually, patients seek medical advice from healthcare providers. In this case, the medical intervention contradicts the patient’s religious beliefs and morals. Advising the patient on the best decision, which contradicts their morals and beliefs, creates an ethical dilemma.
According to the American Nurses Association Position statement on reproductive health, “healthcare clients have the right to privacy and make decisions about personal health care based on full information and without coercion. Also, nurses have the right to refuse to participate in a particular case on ethical grounds. However, if nurses’ life is in jeopardy, nurses are obligated to provide for the client’s safety and avoid abandonment (Haddad and Geiger, 2022).” Although I preferred abortion, I didn’t express my opinion and beliefs to the patient. Instead, I encouraged the patient to communicate with her significant others, including the husband, family members, spiritual advisors, and others who she felt they could confide in and seek advice. Also, I encouraged her to research the benefits of abortion to individuals with the same condition and even go further to find the experience of those who had life-saving abortions. It worked so well because she acknowledged her condition and the danger ahead. Additionally, I scheduled a follow-up visit with other healthcare teams to discuss the options available and make decisions within two weeks before the procedure was done. Unfortunately, we found none. Her heart condition was advanced, and only abortion was found effective and safe. After all interventions, the abortion was successful, and she returned to her normal state, focusing on heart disease. Finally, I provided moral support and advised her on how she could choose surrogacy as an alternative method for having children.
Faubion, D., 2022. 20 Most-Common Examples of Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing. [online] Nursingprocess.org. Available at: <https://www.nursingprocess.org/ethical-dilemma-in-nursing- [Accessed 4 June 2022].
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