What Is An Ethical Dilemma In Nursing

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Taking a Stand on an Ethical Dilemma Moral conduct and the principles that guide the actions of a person in regards to what is right and what is wrong is called ethics (Marquis & Huston, 2012). Moral distress is an issue that affects all areas of a healthcare organization (Wilson, Goettemoeller, Bevan & McCord, 2013). “Nursing is the moral center of healthcare and provides the true image and inspiration of ethical care and compassion” (Edmonson, 2010, para. 1). As a nursing leader in a facility, there is a high probability that one will become involved in an ethical dilemma at some point in their career. When one brings an ethical dilemma to the attention of the nurse manager, there is the high potential that the manager will experience …show more content…
An ethical framework assists people in solving ethical dilemmas. Utilizing the utilitarian framework that “provides the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Marquis & Huston, 2012, p. 72), the agent was able to make decisions. A necessary skill as a leader for this situation is advocacy. Managers are advocates for their profession, their peers, their subordinates and most importantly for the patients. Marquis and Huston (2012), mention that advocacy in the nursing profession is one of the most vital roles. As a leader in the mentioned ethical dilemma, it was important for the moral agent to be an advocate for the patient and the nurse reporting the suspicious behavior of the physician. To advocate for something, a leader must also have self-confidence, assertiveness, and have the ability to take risks and articulate needs (Marquis & Huston, 2012). Self-confidence and assertiveness are required to bring the ethical dilemma to senior leadership and report a physician with whom many worked with side-by-side for …show more content…
Patient safety is the primary reason for taking a stand. If the physician is working under the influence of narcotics and a sentinel event occurred while the moral agent knew of the potential for harm, this would not be following the Standards of Professional Performance. Standard V of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Standards of Professional Performance states that “the nurse’s decisions and actions on behalf of patients are determined in an ethical manner” (Marquis & Huston, 2012, p. 118). The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses states that the primary commitment is to the patient (No. 2). Also, the nurse promotes and advocates for protecting the health, safety, and rights of the patient (No. 3). The Code of Ethics is in place for nurses to guide them in practicing ethically in the highest standard (Marquis & Huston,

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