Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Using the steps outlined in the decision-making models in your readings, select one ethical decision-making model and use the model to analyze the case provided.
A 6-year-old develops a high fever accompanied by violent vomiting and convulsions while at school. The child is rushed to a nearby hospital. The attending physician makes a diagnosis of meningitis and requests permission to initiate treatment from the parents. The child's parents are divorced. The mother, who is not the biological parent of the child, has primary custody. She is a Christian Scientist who insists that no medical treatment be offered for religious reasons. The biological father, who resides in another state, is also contacted. He insists that treatment be given and seeks independent consultation from another physician.
In a formal, written paper of 800-1,200 words, answer the following questions:
1 What is the ethical dilemma here?
2 Describe the decision-making model you selected from your readings.
3 How would you resolve this dilemma using the model?
4 Include, at the end of your paper, a 200-word dialog in which you explain your decision to the family. (Remember to use language that the family would understand).
A minimum of three references must be used.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to Turnitin. Please refer to the directions in the Student Success Center. Only Word documents can be submitted to Turnitin.
Please find below a proposed solution comprising a guidance on the background ethical theories and an illustration of a typical model application on the case in question.
At the bottom you will also find an illustration of a dialogue with a non consenting member of the family for your ease of reference.
Feel free to come back for any further clarification if need be.
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Ethical Decision making
Background on Morality and Ethics
Morality refers to the practice of deciding want is right or wrong while Ethics refers to understanding and exploring morality (UKCEN )
The criteria used to judge decision making in an ethical situation is referred to as an ethical theory.
Patient care must be based on justifiable judgement based on what is wrong or right in order to produce desired outcomes.
The following are some ethical theories that are applicable to healthcare:
• Consequentialism-states that the moral value of an act lies in its results. Within this theory is the so called Utilitarianism opines that the morality of any act is the happiness that people derive from it.
• Deontology Theory-That the justification of any act lies in the feeling of being duty bound or following rules.
• Virtue Ethics-Where any action is justified by the pursuit of a reason for existence and here people will act to achieve excellences or virtues.
• Principlism-A theory that emphasises four key ethical principles (autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice) (Beauchamp T and Childress J 2001). This is the most commonly used theory in healthcare where: Autonomy- is the respect for other people to make their own decisions and ability to provide an informed consent. Beneficence -The resolve to do good, to provide benefit that is expressed by the recipient, protection of vulnerable people. Non-maleficence-meaning no harm or injury to others. Justice-treating people with fairness and distributing resources equally
The following four rules used to supplement these theories are:
b) Privacy(a person's right to protect information),
c) Confidentiality(sharing of a need to know information only)
d) Fidelity-Practicing duty to care to anyone irrespective of who they are
Ethical issues when a decision must be made on what is right or wrong in a situation, deciding whether to do something or not, reflecting on the potential effects of your decision or action.
An ethical dilemma presents when a difficult decision has to be made bordering on wrong or right.
The following guide will address the question
Ethical dilemmas can be addressed by following logical thought process for example the following 6 steps as described by the British Medical Association (2013):
Step one: recognise the situation as one that raises an ethical dilemma
Step two: break the dilemma into its component parts
Step three: seek additional information, including the patient's viewpoint
Step four: identify any relevant law or professional guidance
Step five: subject the dilemma to critical analysis
Step six: be able to justify the decision with sound arguments
1. What is the ethical dilemma here?
1.1. Ethical dilemmas are situations where values, principles or moral imperatives come into conflict. The ethical dilemma in this case is that although a child is diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition i.e. meningitis (An inflammation of the membranes around the brain and the spinal cord), one parent with primary custody will not give ...
Ethical dilemmas are commonplace in the clinical settings involving conflicts of values, beliefs and norms with medical treatment for example.
Ethical theories and models have been formulated for guidance in addressing day to day cinical thical dilemmas.
This solution presents a guideline to demonstrate how a student can use a typical model to adresses an ethical delimma involving a child in a clinica setting.