Child Negligence Case Study

1288 Words 6 Pages
Making a Decision to Report Child Negligence
When a divorced 38 year old mother, of two girls, refused treatment of her metastatic cancer of the larynx, her condition began to worsen. Her daughters, ages eight and ten, began to take care of her, leading to their downfall in school grades. The home health nurse must make the decision, of whether or not to tell the school nurse the reason the girls’ grades are slipping, or whether this is confidential information that she cannot share. The home health nurse will have to decide what the ethical dilemma is, what legal issues will need to be addressed, and how she will have to proceed with her decision. The main ethical dilemma in this situation is whether or not the home health nurse should
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Deontology is approaching a problem from an unbiased stand point, and considering all principles applied to the issue, thus a person would be obliged to do what is right (Cherry & Jacob, 2014). Utilitarianism is, “An ethical theory stating that the best decision is one that brings about the greatest good for the most people” (Cherry & Jacob, 2014). Based on the issue provided, utilitarianism is the best fitting ethical theory. When facing the choice of whether or not to report the mother to the school nurse, it is the children’s welfare that is the main focus. Since the mother has refused treatment of her cancer, the girls’ grades have slipped and they are becoming frightened at how physically dependent their mother is becoming. Their mother’s condition is affecting them in negative ways, which is child neglect or abuse. By reporting the mother the home health nurse would be making a decision that brings about the greatest good for all the parties …show more content…
She should start by assessing and identifying the issue, any other hidden issues, and consider the complexity of the situation along with anything being overlooked. The main issue is whether or not to report the mother. The hidden issue would be what the children want, which can lead to the complex issue of how the family will react if the children get taken away by child services. Then the nurse will have to identify and analyze other alternative methods to take and weigh the pros and cons of all her choices. The nurse will have to take in all parties’ opinions on plans that she is able to create. She will also have to consider the ethical principles for each alternative method, such as beneficence and non-maleficence. After she considers all alternatives the nurse will have to make her decision and begin to plan how to show others she has made the right ethical decision. The nurse will begin to implement her decision by justifying her choice through providing specific reasons as to why she made this decision, and show ethical basis. The nurse should recognize there will be weaknesses in the justification of her choice, and she should be able to defend her decision. Once her decision has been carried out she will need to evaluate her course of action, by monitoring progress and weighing the positives and negatives

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