in the medical field, and especially with patients, nurses always have occasions when have to apply ethics in dealing
with difficult situation. Ethics is the study of right and wrong behavior
(Ruggiero, 2011). The attention of ethics is moral circumstances or
situations in which there is a choice of how will we behave, and helps us reach
a sound decision in everyday life. Ethical values such as honesty, loyalty,
trustworthiness, fairness, respect for others, and many others help us in
dealing with many ethical dilemmas by eliminating those actions that don’t
follow the sense of right or wrong. Also, our actions contribute to the wellbeing
or deterioration of our self and our environment. Without moral actions we
would have a complete social anarchy.
of the ethical dilemmas that happened to me, was during my clinical rotation.
While I was working in the Dementia department in a nursing home, I had a
patient that was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. After a week, the patient’s
condition worsened due to metastasis, and she became a victim to more
malignancy symptoms. The patient started questioning some of her symptoms, and
definitely was suspecting something wrong going on. On the other side, the
patient family chose to withhold medical information from the patient, and
protect her from suffering. This
shaped an uncomfortable situation for the health care professionals involved in
this rough circumstance. This state is a difficult responsibility for a nurse
or other health care professionals, whether to respect the family’s request to
hide the truth, or to tell the patient the medical status.
The solution to the
ethical dilemma was built on Rule-Based Thinking or Deontological theory, that
is based on duties and doing what is right.
Decision making is ruled by doing the right thing in every situation and
respecting the basic dignity of human beings. In addition, I believe it was
used the end-based thinking theory, that is based on analyzing who will be hurt
at the end of the final decision.
nurses should respect their patients, keep patients’ dignity and defend
patients’ rights. According to Nurses Code of Ethics, the nurse must provide
inclusive care for the patients and their families, by advocating and
protecting the patients’ health, safety and patient rights. Then, one of the
main rights of the patients is to obtain information about her health status,
diagnosis, progression of treatment and outcomes of treatment (Nursingworld.org,
collaboration with the dementia department charge nurse and other health care
professionals involved in this patient care, it was decided to voice the
medical information and respect the patient rights. The outcome of the dilemma
was truth telling about the diseases and its prognosis with respect to patients’
rights. Moreover, the outcome was guided by the principle of “Veracity” which
is the truth telling and the obligation to full and honest disclosure of any
information (Potter, Perry, Stockert, 2017).
I would be faced again with this type of ethical dilemma, I would act the same,
but with more confidence around the patient’s family. As nurses spend more time
with taking care of the patient, they are the ones that must give additional
explanation of patient’s diagnosis. I would be more knowledgeable about ethical
principles that will help in explaining why is it critically important in telling the
truth and why health care professionals have to live up to our professional