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Ethical Decision Making: Ethical Theories and Principles

Consider Alex, an x-ray technology student who has never performed procedures on emergency room patients. As part of his training Alex is rotating through the emergency room and has been asked to take x-rays of the head and neck of an alert yet seriously injured patient Mr. Hanson. The x-ray supervisor/instructor, Ms. Dubois, is present when Alex attempts the x-rays which require the patient to be manipulated into particular and potentially painful positions. Nothing is said to the patient other than " we are going to take some x-rays sir!"

After three unsuccessful attempts, the patient complains about the pain and the x-ray supervisor takes over and completes the procedures with success.

The focus of the dilemma is on whether the patient should have been told that Alex is a student. After reading the module materials and once you have an understanding of ethical dilemmas and principles answer the following two questions in an essay not to exceed 3 pages.

QUESTIONS:

1. Identify the people/parties that have a stake or interest in this scenario, and explain how the interests may conflict.

2. Identify the ethical principles that may be applied in resolving the dilemma in the scenario. Be sure to discuss the prima facie duties and principles.

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RESPONSE:

1. Identify the people/parties that have a stake or interest in this scenario, and explain how the interests may conflict.

There are four potential people/parties to consider in this scenario that have a stake in the outcome.

The student's interest is learning, which conflicts with the needs of the patient to have qualified help and to have choice of caregiver's since he was not told that the student was a student.

The supervisor's interest is threefold: to the organization, to the student and to the patient. The interest in supervising the student could conflict with the interest in providing the best care to the patient, and to the organization to oversee the student's performance.

The patient's interest in getting well and having qualified helpers, which conflicts with the organization as a teaching hospital and the supervisor's interest providing quality care, providing the student with a learning experience, and obligation to the organization to oversee the student's learning.

The organization's interest is in providing quality care to the patient, which could conflict with its interest in training students under the supervision of supervisors.

2. Identify the ethical principles that may be applied in resolving the ...

Solution Summary

Based on the scenario, this solution identifies the people/parties that have a stake or interest in this scenario, and explains how the interests may conflict. It also identifies the ethical principles that may be applied in resolving the dilemma in the scenario, including a discussion of the prima facie duties and principles.

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