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Ethical Dilemma - Essay Example

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Healthcare providers have the top priority to safeguard the health of patients by providing effective and timely treatment but in cases the patients may not agree to take the type of recommended treatment as a matter of conflict with the cultural, social or religious norms and…
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Running Head: Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Ethical Dilemma in Nursing s Introduction Healthcare providers have thetop priority to safeguard the health of patients by providing effective and timely treatment but in cases the patients may not agree to take the type of recommended treatment as a matter of conflict with the cultural, social or religious norms and beliefs. In such circumstances, the nursing staff may not be able to save the affected lives while respecting the autonomy of such patients. Such kind of conflict raises the ethical dilemma whether the important is to prefer saving a life or to follow the patient’s will. This paper will analyse such a dilemma in a particular case of Juana, a pregnant lady who refused blood transfusion due to religious beliefs and eventually died.
Ethical Theories and Principles
In the light of case, if code of ethics provided by American Nurses Association is analysed, one can clearly see that autonomy and choice of treatment of a patient is given preference (ANA, 2001). Like if a patient refuses blood transfusion even in a critical scenario, the choice of patient would be respected. However in few states like in Illinois, the Supreme Court has intervened to take legal measures to give priority to save a human life (Illinois Supreme Court, 1996). The principles applied to the case are of compassion, justice, autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence and respect. All the principles commonly state to act upon the patient’s free will to accept treatment which is not in conflict to her/ his beliefs keeping in view that patient is not intentional harmed. Principle of veracity also applies which states that healthcare providers should be truthful to the patients and must allow the patients to make an informed decision (Gardiner, 2003).
Case Analysis
Analysing the case with a personal perspective, it is though obvious that the nurses followed ethical principles and did not compromise the beliefs of the patient; however the life of patient and fetus had been compromised. The nursing staff had followed the code of ethics given by American Nursing Association which is in conformance with other ethical principles.
If the patient had been treated with the blood transfusion, her life could be saved but her regret to live out of her religious morality would ever make her repent. People have emotional associations with their beliefs and values that must be respected. But one can disagree with the decision the patient and her family (husband) as beliefs are only perceptions and they are not more valuable than the human life. It could be possible to take immediate help of a bishop provide guidance in case of severe life risk so she might get treated.
Conclusion
All principles of ethics in nursing state to uphold the beliefs and values of the affected patient and no treatment should be provided against their will or morality. However it becomes sensitive when the human life is in danger and the matter needs to be further elaborated and researched so that the nurses may be able to safeguard precious lives as well as respecting the morality and beliefs of patients.
References
American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive
Statements.Washington, D.C.: American Nurses Association.
Beauchamp, T., & Walters, L. (2003). Contemporary Issues in Bioethics. (6
th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Gardiner, P. (2003). A virtue ethics approach to moral dilemmas in medicine. Journal of
Medical Ethics, 29, 297-302.
Illinois v. Brown (In Re to Fetus Brown) No. 96-JA-03312 (Illinois Supreme Court, 1996).
Retrieved March 15, 2014, from http://lw.bna.com/lw/19980120/962316.htm Read More
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