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Analysis Of An Ethical Dilema

1381 words - 6 pages


Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma in Society
Geana Terry
Grand Canyon University
NRS 437V
May 8, 2011

Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma in Society
Nurses and society are faced with ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. Ethical dilemmas are difficult situations that have conflicting moral claims and can cause great distress to those who face the problem. In dealing with ethical dilemmas we use a systematic process which aids us in determining a reasonable solution to the dilemma. It is important to use not only an emotional perspective but an objective and cognitive perspective as well. Combining our values and morals in our ...view middle of the document...

Cash began to improve quickly and began eating. It thrilled his father who claims it is all from the marijuana. He made a miraculous recovery within two weeks and the doctors were amazed. The little boy is now three years old and doing well. He does, however, have a high chance of the cancer coming back.
There are many ethical implications that can be seen with this act of giving marijuana to a child. These include: giving illegal drugs to a minor, medically treating without physician consent, loss of trust in hospital personnel, subjecting children to the use of drugs, and illegal use in the state of Utah. As a mother I can understand how desperate this father was to help his child. However, he did not know the implications that could have occurred to his son if there was a severe allergy or overdose. His son could have died and he could have been arrested.
According to Uustal’s, nine step, decision making model (Salgado, 2011) we are able to use a nursing process to look at this situation closely and develop a reasonable decision. The process begins with step one: Identify the problem – Giving illegal drugs to a child without physician knowledge. Step two: My values and ethical position- I follow the virtue ethics theory. I believe in honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, self control, prudence, and trustworthiness (Burkhardt & Nathanial, 2008). I believe in the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. In this case I feel the father should have told the doctors and nurses what he planned to do so that they could monitor the child accordingly. Step three: Alternatives to the problem – the father could have told the doctor and the doctor could have prescribed a suitable dose for the child and monitored him properly, he could have taken the child home to a hospital in Montana where medical marijuana was legal and could be used under medical evaluation, or he could have trusted the doctors and followed the current treatment plan. Step four: Categorize the alternatives – first telling the doctor about the marijuana is the most important, if he disagrees, then relocation to another hospital where marijuana is legal should be considered. I believe in honesty and would feel terrible if something were to happen to a child because of being manipulative. At this point the doctors are thinking the patient was improving due to their own treatment not by the manipulative act of by the father. Step five: Predict outcomes for acceptable alternatives: Choosing to tell the physician could lead to the cooperation by the physician and health care team. The dose could have been titrated accordingly for that patient safely or the physician could flat out refuse of the use due to legal implications. By checking into another local hospital in Montana, the marijuana could be legally given without implications, however, the level of care that this child was...

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