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Ethics of Medic - Essay Example

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This paper tells that nurses and other medical health practitioners have the responsibility of protecting and promoting the health of individuals and society. This is achieved through ensuring that the conditions for living are healthy…
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Case Study: Ethics
Nurses and other medical health practitioners have the responsibility of protecting and promoting the health of individuals and society. This is achieved through ensuring that the conditions for living are healthy. Numerous organizations have set out moral foundations in nursing and medicine to optimize wellbeing and health as an aspect of wellbeing. Nursing and medical ethics concern itself with moral values, principles and standards of conduct. These are intended to ensure that patients receive favourable treatment and care in the health units.
Beauchamp and Childress (2001) assert that nurses have the responsibility of promoting the well being of patients. This is termed as the principle of beneficence. They have to take actions that supply the welfare of patients. In this case, the nurse had the obligation of ensuring that the chemotherapy was stopped since the boy saw no chances of surviving. However, in this case there seems to be a conflict between beneficence and autonomy principles of ethics. Ashcroft et al (2007) acknowledge that the principle of autonomy realizes the rights of people to self-determination, and is based on the society’s respect for people’s aptitude to make knowledgeable decisions about personal issues. In this case, the patient’s personal decision conflicted with his personal welfare. The nurse has a responsibility of ensuring the patient’s welfare and carrying out the new, aggressive course of chemotherapy.
On the other hand, the nurse had the responsibility of communicating to parents about the issue on stopping chemotherapy. The nurse's’ actions were against the medical and nursing ethics.

Case Study 2
In many situations, nurses have administered medication to patients without informing them of the benefits or consequences of such a medication. According to Ashcroft et al (2007), a patient should be fully aware of the implications of any medication administered to him or her. An uninformed person or patient is at the danger of making choices and decisions that are not as per his or her wishes or will. Medical practitioners can only make decisions on a patient on medication only if the individual is incapacitated. The nurse’s action to follow the physician’s instructions to administer the antidepressant medication to all patients was unethical. The nurse should have informed the physician that it was unethical and that the patients needed to be aware of the medication they receive in the hospital.
Medical health practitioners have long avowed that they are obligated to avoid doing harm to their patients. In this case, the physician and the nurse are against the ethical maxim of non-malfeasance. In reference to Beauchamp and Childress (2001), malfeasance principle refers to do no harm to the patient. This principle requires that all medical practitioners take the responsibility of ensuring patient’s safety. For this reason, a physician should not prescribe medications to patients without evaluating them to ensure they do not harm the patient. Therefore, a physician or a nurse should further research and test the patient and prescribe medications which could cause harm to patients. In essence, the nurse and the physician should have carried a test on new individuals to establish their health condition and prescribe medication. Their actions were unethical and illegal.

References
Ashcroft, R. E., Dawson, A., & Draper, H. (2007). Principles of Health Care Ethics. (2nd ed.). John Willey and Sons.
Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2001). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. (5th ed.). Oxford University Press. Read More
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