Ethical Dilemma

Better Essays
An Ethical Dilemma in the Health Care Setting

Bobbi K. Handy

HCS/478

November 29, 2010
Barbara Scheibe, RNC, MSN

An Ethical Dilemma in the Health Care Setting

Ethical dilemmas in the health care setting present themselves almost daily. It is imperative that the health care worker be able to understand when an ethical dilemma presents itself and know how to deal with the dilemma in the best interest of all involved. Many ethical dilemmas that health care workers face are difficult. There is no easy fix and often the result is upsetting. Occasionally, an ethical committee is needed to offer solutions and direction. The primary ethical issues in the case study presented will be addressed as well as how to use the ethical principles to address the issues. Personal values and the ethical principles will be addressed and applied as well as how the situation may be handled if the patient were in a different health care setting. A professional nursing organization and how it incorporates ethical principles in their practice will be described. This case study describes an eight month old child in the emergency department with bilateral femur fractures. It presents several ethical issues. The first ethical issue would be the possibility of child abuse by the mother or the day care. Second, the mother waited several hours before seeking care for her child and made no mention of the child’s thighs. The mother reported the child crying constantly for the last several hours, but did not mention looking to see what may have been the cause. The nurse expressed concern that the child may have been injured; however, made no effort to follow up. A case worker, social worker, or proper agency was not consulted. The physician stated that he felt it was not child abuse so he did not report it. Health care workers are governed by law to report suspected abuse to the proper authorities (Fraser, J. A., Mathews, B., & Walsh, K., 2009). The ethical



References: Advice, p.r.n. (1980). Nursing, 10(9), p21-23. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=23&hid=5&sid=f9c9c297-18cb-4bf0-a486-704d4be444b0%40sessionmgr14. American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing standards. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/NursingStandards.aspx. Child abuse reporting. (1996). Society, 33(4), p40-46. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=5&sid=f9c9c297-18cb-4bf0-a486-704d4be444b0%40sessionmgr14. Fraser, J. A., Mathews, B., & Walsh, K. (2009). Factors influencing child abuse and neglect recognition and reporting by nurses: A multivariate analysis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 47(2), 146-153. Retrieved from http://www.journalofnursing studies.com/article/S0020-7489(09)00173-4/abstract. Guido, G. W. (2010). Legal and ethical issues in nursing (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Johnson, C.F. (2002). Child maltreatment 2002: recognition, reporting and risk. Pediatrics International: Official Journal of the Japan Pediatric Society, 44(5), pp. 554-560. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=121&sid=efc4f1a4-5e6f-4ba7-a29e-6904b88d54bd%40sessionmgr113.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Benjamin, M., & Curtis, J. (1992). Ethics in Nursing (3rd edition). New York: University Press, pp 355-366.…

    • 1811 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    For this article, the author chose to discuss child abuse and maltreatment in preschool age children. There are many forms of child abuse such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment/ separation. In this age most common abuses are physical, sexual, emotional and negligence. As a health care provider when we are assessing a case of child abuse, we always need to check the background of the child’s family child, by checking parenting skills of caretakers, employment and education status of the parents, financial conditions at home and environment of the house (safe and clean for the child). We also need to check for any history of drug and alcohol abuse among family members, care taker’s personal limitations and certain cognitive or medical conditions (such as mental retardation or depression) of care takers, all these can effect child’s care tremendously. (Jarvis, 2011)…

    • 1173 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Burkhardt, M. A. & Nathaniel, A. K. (2008). Ethics and issues in contemporary nursing (3rd ed.).…

    • 1301 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Code of Ethics for Nursing

    • 1344 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Post, Stephen (2006) Code of Ethics for Nursing (3rd edition), Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Vol. 5 p. 2749-2756 retrieved August 25, 2009 from gale power search, Apollo Library http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPSThe American Nurses Association (2009) Caring for those who care, Nursing World. Retrieved August 26, 2009 from http://www.nursingworld.org/default.aspx…

    • 1344 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    History of Public Health

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages

    References: Oberle, K. & Tenove, S. (2000). Ethical issues in public health nursing. Vol. 7, Issue 5,…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Ethical Issues Paper

    • 1156 Words
    • 5 Pages

    References: Aiken, T. D. (2004). Legal, Ethical and Political Issues in Nursing (2nd ed.). : McGraw-Hill.…

    • 1156 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Child Abuse in the 1950

    • 2114 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Kempe, C. Henry, Frederic N. Silverman, Brandt F. Steele, William Droegemueller, and Henry K. Silver. "Child Abuse and Neglect." Child Abuse and Neglect. 9. (1985): 143-154. Web. 6 Nov. 2012.…

    • 2114 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Foster care system

    • 543 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect. 1, 2…

    • 543 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Sedlak, A. J., & Broadhurst, D. D. (1996). Third national study of child abuse and neglect: Final report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.…

    • 3034 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

    • 2238 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Murray, S.K., Baker, A.W., & Lewin, L. (2002). Screening families with young children for child maltreatment potential. Pediatric Nursing, 26, 47-54.…

    • 2238 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    As discussed, nurses face many challenges related to ethical and legal issues. The American Nurses Association Code of Nursing Ethics is the best guideline for nurses to use when facing these issues. Personal and societal values will also influence nurses faced with these issues but if nurses adhere to the Code of Ethics even though personal or societal values may be in conflict, they will not have to worry about legal issues pertaining to the care…

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Healthcare is a diverse field with many specialties, but a commonality in all aspects is provider’s ethics. Ethics means following the standards and guidelines set by institutions as it relates to job duties, professional behavior, and patients. The decisions made by healthcare professionals, be it physicians, nurses or medical staff, affect real people and may mean the difference between life and death. The health and welfare of patients, along with the very serious aspect of treatment facilitation, requires that ethical standards be followed every step of the way for the health care professional.…

    • 1316 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    The ethical issues in nursing as well as the situations where such issues arise are being encountered by health practitioners on a daily basis. It is about time that nurses and nursing students learn how to manage and confront these kinds of situations in a professional manner. Expertise on the management of ethical issues in nursing should be given utmost importance in this day and age.…

    • 1289 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    As nurses we often find ourselves trapped in the center of ethical dilemmas between physicians, patients, family members, co-workers, and employers. In ethical dilemma our ethical values and ethical behavior guide us to provide the best care to our patients. In this paper I will define ethics value, my ethical values, and how did I developed them. Also, I will discuss how my ethical values have significant positive impact on my life, and ethical behavior that I want to develop in future.…

    • 658 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Nursing Code of Ethics

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Fry, S., and R. Veatch, R. Case Studies in Nursing Ethics. 2nd edition. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2000.…

    • 1047 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays