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Ethical Framework Essay

1025 words - 5 pages

Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Jeananne S. Reed
Grand Canyon University
Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
Michelle Silvers, MS, RN, CEN
July 17, 2011

Ethical Frameworks in Practice
Being entrusted with information is honorable. But what if the promise of holding information could bring harm or deleterious consequences? This is an ethical dilemma frequently incurred by nurses. What are the implications when a decision calls to breach or not to breach? In the article: “Bitoethics on NBC’s ER: Betraying Trust of Providing Good Care When is it ok to Break Confidentiality?,” Nurse Hathaway suffers such a dilemma when faced with exposing the cervical cancer ...view middle of the document...

First, a dilemma arises when there is a situation and another situation desires to be achieved. Theories and principles provide a “moral compass.” In this case, the patient is a minor. While most states recognize that minors may be cared for confidentially with regards to birth control, treatment for cases such cervical cancer requires parental consent (The Curators of the University of Missouri, 2011). Additionally, “sex parties” are high risk behaviors. A multitude of deleterious consequences could result from teen “sex parties” such as HIV, pregnancy, and even suicide. It is without a doubt that Hathaway needs to address the principles of beneficence: the duty to do good, veracity: the duty to tell the truth (to the parents and the school), and utility: the greatest good or least harm for the greatest number (Silvers, 2011).
Reasonable Alternative
Given that Hathaway did inform the parents, there is no reasonable alternative for this breach. There could be alternatives in processing the betrayal with Hathaway expressing her nursing position with sincerity and compassion. The decision making process involved in this alternative would be to involve Andrea in predicting and examining all of the consequences involved in not telling her parents verses telling her parents. This would allow Andrea to be treated with respect and perhaps alleviate the feeling of being betrayed. It could help Hathaway feel as if she had done the best she could, thus mitigating her guilt. In the case of the school, an alternative approach could be for Hathaway to address the “sex parties” issue. By bringing the issue to the school’s attention, Hathaway would be fulfilling her duty and obligations of utility. Alternatives of not telling could result in continued practice of the “sex parties” with harmful outcomes. A plan could be for Hathaway to organize a program target to this issue for the school to implement.

Ethics Committee
A plan targeted to the “sex party” issue may be one of the alternatives recommended by an ethics committee in this dilemma. While not informing the parents is really not a choice in this issue, informing the school is. Ethics committees are composed of different disciplines in the community (Burkhardt &...

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