Ethics, Case Scenario

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Autonomy Pages: 5 (1865 words) Published: October 18, 2010
Case 2 – The Drinking Problem
Mr. Collins has dysphasia and enjoys a beer with his son each day in his private room on ward B. Roma (RN assigned to care for Mr. Collins) reads a note in the case notes, that Doctor Rich and the speech therapist have ordered thickened fluids for Mr. Collins. That note was written 5 days ago. The current nursing care plan also states ‘thickened fluids’. Mr. Collins tells Roma that he has discussed the matter with the doctor and the speech therapist and is aware of the risks. He says that his son will be making his usual visit at midday today and they intend to have a beer together. The argument that this piece of writing will present is whether or not Mr. Collins autonomy is intact and should continue to have a beer with his son daily or directions as per the care should be adhered to, which was to be put on strictly thickened fluids only. I will be defending the fact that Mr. Collins should be allowed to continue having a beer with his son strongly. I will also draw on objections to my argument discussing the moral decisions of Roma the RN. As Mr Collins states that he is aware of the risks I will be using this as my rebuttal in the argument. I will look at ethical principals related to both sides of the argument and discuss the same. SUPPORTING ARGUMENT

Firstly, Mr Collins has been ordered thickened fluids due to his dysphasia, by the Doctor as well as the speech therapist. Mr Collins claims that he has discussed this order with them and will continue to have a beer with his son despite the care plan saying that thickened fluids have been ordered. I believe that Roma should allow Mr Collins to continue having a beer with his son. Ethics is a broad term used for referring to a variety of ways of understanding and investigating the ‘moral life’ (Crisp and Taylor 2009 p332). More exclusively, ethics involves a gravely reflective activity, fundamentally concerned with a methodical focus of living morally, and is intended to clarify what we ought to do by asking us to think about and reconsider our ordinary actions, judgements and justification (Crisp and Taylor 2009 p332). It is also important to clarify the use of the term morality in discussions on ethics as both terms are used interchangeably. Morality generally refers to a person’s personal standards of behaviour as well as values and lifestyle (Thompson, Melia et al. 2006 p 13). When we look at ethical issues ourselves, we generally reflect our own life experiences, attitudes and cultures. Our actions and decisions may therefore embody implicit theories of ethics (Kerridge, Lowe et al. 2009 p10). Deontology is known as one of the major schools of moral philosophy and is known as intrinsicalism due to the fact that it embodies the concept that things or actions are right or wrong in and of themselves (Kerridge, Lowe et al. 2009 p10). Consequentialist theory is that the rightness and wrongness of an action is based exclusively on the consequences of doing it; the right act is defined as that which leads to the best consequences (Kerridge, Lowe et al. 2009 p11). The tension between different types of ethical theories has contributed hugely on the growth of moral philosophy, such as deontology and consequentialist, yet all theories have significant theoretical and methodological deficiencies (Kerridge, Lowe et al. 2009 p36). Beauchamp (1982 as cited in Austin 2007 p81) believes that moral philosophers are yet to link their theories to authentic problems. According to Beauchamp and Walters (1982 cited in Thompson, Melia et al. 2006 p179) respect for personal autonomy is a fundamental ethical principle. Autonomy as defined by Kerridge, Lowe and Stewart (2009) is self determination, liberty, rights and ‘free will’. There are many theories and definitions of autonomy but most all generally make reference to individual liberty or independence, and the capacity for intentional or rational action (Kerridge, Lowe et al. 2009 p83). It appears that...
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