Ethics Case Study

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Ethics Case Study
Julie A Daily

August 23, 2010

Ethics Case Study
This ethical case study involves an eight month old infant that has been injured. After arriving at the emergency department it is noted that the infant has bilateral fractured femurs. The physician in this case has decided after speaking with the mother that this case is not one of abuse and therefore should not be reported. Why do we have a code of ethics in the medical profession? We as health care professionals need to understand our morals and ethical standards. “Ethics are internal to oneself; values, beliefs, and individual interpretation.” Guido (2010). The physician in this study has decided on his own that there has been no wrong doing here with this infant. The ethical dilemma could be resolved through the ethical decision-making framework. According to Guido (2010) ethical decision making involves reflection on the following questions: 1. Who should make the choice?

2. What are the possible options or courses of action?
3. What are the available options or alternatives?
4. What are the consequences, both good and bad, of all possible options? 5. Which rules, obligations, and values should direct choices? 6. What are the desired goals and outcomes? (Guido, 2006, p.8) We as nurse need to combine all these elements in a systematic orderly manner and to be objective about it. Looking at the entire picture and putting the pieces together to come to a conclusion is what we as medical professionals do daily in our jobs. The mother of the infant child did not provide enough information for the medical professionals to make an accurate conclusion of what or how the infant was injured. More data collection was needed and the nurse and physician could have asked more questions.

The nurse conducted herself appropriately and assessed the patient and reported her findings to the ER physician. The nurse is bound by her...
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