Many situations can raise ethical concerns, particularly in the face of disagreement and conflict between parties. However, not all situations of an ethical nature result in values conflict or constitute an ethical dilemma. Explain the characteristics of an ethical dilemma. How do they differ from other situations resulting in disagreement between conflicting preferences, needs, or expectations week 1 dq 2 Consider the age-old tale of the father who stole a loaf of bread to feed his hungry family. Stealing is deemed wrong by our society and is punishable by law. Failing to provide for one’s family is neglectful and fundamentally wrong. What would be the dilemma and the implications of such a crime on the individual, the family, the community, and society? week 2 dq 1 How do personal values, morals, and ethics influence decision making? (Consider your upbringing, your family structure, your socioeconomic status, your community, and your own personal experiences). How do these factors influence your decisions? How might they conflict with the needs, preferences, and biases of your patients and their families? Which ethical theoretical framework best describes your personal worldview? Support your response with examples. dq 2 Read the assigned article, “Dealing With Futile Treatment: A Medical Student’s Perspective.” How does the author describe futile treatment? What ethical dilemmas are faced by health care providers who must address human suffering? How can ethical principles be used to identify the most appropriate decision when conflict arises? week 3 dq 1 Uustal (1993) proposed a decision-making model that provides concrete steps in which to arrive at a morally acceptable solution when faced with an ethical dilemma. What type of an ethical dilemma have you encountered in the clinical setting? How can the decision-making model identified by Uustal be applied to this situation? Be specific when describing each of the nine steps. How do a nurse’s fundamental duties, as described by the Hippocratic Oath and Nightingale Pledge, influence a nurse’s practice and decision making? week 4 dq 1 Does the principle of autonomy guarantee a person the right to do something that is harmful to oneself? To others? Explain your response with ethical rationale. What is the difference between beneficence and nonmaleficence? Give examples of each from your clinical practice. week 5 dq 1 Max Points: 5.0 Read the case study below and answer questions 1-6. Ethics Case Study: To Rescue Others at What Risk? ACME Medical Center has been damaged seriously by a recent hurricane. A helicopter that is trying to rescue people stranded by the hurricane has crashed, hitting the wing of the building where the pediatric unit was located. In the midst of the explosion, fire, and confusion, five people make their way to the roof and wait for rescue. They are Mary, a mother carrying her ill infant who was a patient on the unit; Joseph, her husband and the baby’s father; John, a pediatric resident who had been caring for the baby; Margaret, the RN who was on duty in the pediatric unit; and Peter, a transport employee who was helping to prepare patients for rescue and evacuation. Mary says to the group, “I think I hear someone crying. Yes, I can hear cries for help. We’ve got to go back down the stairs and help those people!” Dr. John says, “You women stay here. Joseph and I will go back down and see what we can do.” Joseph looks first at his own ill infant and then down the smoke-filled stairs and replies, “I’m not going back down. It’s too risky. The smoke is too thick. We’d never make it through and survive.” Margaret, the RN, says, “We’ve got to do something. We can’t just let people die. I’d never be able to live with myself. Those are my patients and I need to help them.” Margaret runs down the stairs and disappears. Peter says, “You’re all crazy! In a situation like this it’s every man for himself!” Questions: What is the ethical dilemma? What is yourvalue and ethical position related to the case? Include discussion of theory and principles on which your position is based. What are some other alternatives for resolving the problem? What are the possible consequences for those acceptable alternatives? How would you prioritize the acceptable alternatives? What is your plan of action? dq2 Health care providers are obligated to provide for those entrusted in their care. To what extent do they meet this obligation? How might their obligation to others conflict with their obligation to themselves?
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