Explain the statement, “What may be an ethical dilemma for one registered nurse may not be an ethical dilemma for another registered nurse.” Be sure to define an ethical dilemma in the course of your discussion. Describe a challenging situation in your nursing career that required you to consider the ethical dimensions of the patient case and the role you played in providing care. (Be sure to respect and maintain patient and colleague confidentiality.)
Apply the framework of The Five R’s approach to ethical nursing practice from this week’s reading to answer the questions about values and choices.
What are values?
Q. What are your personal values?
Q. Why do you value them?
Q. What are the values in your society?
Q. How do you make choices?
Q. Are your choices based on your values?
Q. What values are useful in society?
What are the limits to personal choice?
Q. Who limits your choices?
Q. Are limits to choices good?
Q. Do you limit other people’s choices?
Q. Should the health care organization or the government limit people’s choices? If so, how, and under what circumstances?
In your responses to peers, feel free to agree, disagree, question, compare, and discuss each other’s responses in a way that fosters thoughtful and respectful dialog. You may also address the following: Did any responses surprise you? If so, how? Did reading your peers’ responses to the questions expand your own view of ways to answer questions?
Finally, consider this: A common idea in health care is that if you are drawn to health care as a profession, you are inherently guided by an inner compass that is composed of a strong moral framework. Why is this a dangerous assumption?
Expert Solution Preview
In this assignment, we will address two prompts related to ethics in nursing practice. The first prompt involves discussing the concept of ethical dilemmas and sharing a personal experience in which ethical dimensions had to be considered in patient care. The second prompt focuses on the Five R’s approach to ethical nursing practice and poses questions about values, choices, and limits to personal choice. Additionally, we will encourage students to engage in thoughtful and respectful dialogue with their peers.
The statement, “What may be an ethical dilemma for one registered nurse may not be an ethical dilemma for another registered nurse,” highlights the subjectivity of ethical dilemmas in nursing. An ethical dilemma refers to a situation in which a nurse confronts two or more conflicting moral principles or values and is uncertain about the appropriate course of action. It involves making difficult choices that have no clear right or wrong answer.
In my nursing career, I encountered a challenging situation that required careful consideration of the ethical dimensions involved. I once had a patient who was terminally ill and experiencing unbearable pain. The patient’s family requested euthanasia, a practice that is illegal in the jurisdiction where I work. This situation presented an ethical dilemma for me.
As a nurse, my role is to promote the well-being of my patients, alleviate suffering, and respect their autonomy. However, euthanasia contradicts both legal and professional ethical guidelines. I had to carefully balance the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, and respect for autonomy within the legal framework.
To navigate this ethical dilemma, I engaged in thorough ethical reasoning, seeking guidance from colleagues, supervisors, and ethical committees. I involved the patient and the family in open and honest discussions about the available options for pain management and end-of-life care. Together, we explored alternative measures to alleviate suffering, such as palliative sedation and increased comfort measures.
Ultimately, the patient’s pain was managed effectively through these alternative approaches, and the situation did not escalate to the point of needing to make a decision regarding euthanasia. This experience reinforced the importance of ethical reflection, communication, and collaboration in addressing complex ethical dilemmas.
Values refer to the beliefs, principles, or ideals that individuals and societies consider important and desirable. They shape our attitudes, behaviors, and decision-making processes in various aspects of life, including nursing practice. Personal values are unique to each individual and are influenced by factors such as culture, upbringing, education, and personal experiences. They form the foundation upon which individuals make choices and navigate ethical dilemmas.
My personal values include empathy, integrity, accountability, respect, and lifelong learning. I value these qualities because they align with my goals as a nurse to provide compassionate and holistic care, maintain professionalism, take responsibility for my actions, treat others with dignity, and continually improve my knowledge and skills.
In society, values can vary across different cultures, communities, and generations. Some common societal values include honesty, fairness, justice, equality, and respect for diversity. These values serve as guiding principles that promote harmonious relationships, social cohesion, and ethical conduct within communities.
When making choices, I strive to align my actions with my personal values. By reflecting on the potential outcomes and consequences, considering different perspectives, and seeking ethical guidance, I make decisions that uphold my principles and are consistent with ethical standards.
However, it is essential to recognize that personal choice has its limits. These limits may arise from legal and ethical boundaries, professional responsibilities, societal norms, and the safety and well-being of individuals and communities. For example, a nurse’s choice to disclose confidential patient information may be limited by legal obligations and the need to maintain patient privacy and trust.
Limitations on personal choices can also be imposed by external authorities, such as healthcare organizations or the government. These limitations are often established to safeguard public health, prevent harm, and ensure equitable access to healthcare services. However, the extent to which choices should be limited by these entities is subject to ongoing ethical debates and considerations of individual rights and autonomy.
In conclusion, personal values play a significant role in shaping individuals’ choices and actions, including those in nursing practice. While personal values are of great importance, they must be balanced with legal and professional obligations, societal values, and considerations of the greater good. Recognizing the limits to personal choice is essential to ensure ethical and responsible decision-making in healthcare.
Please note that the provided answers are based on fictitious experiences and are for illustrative purposes only.