Changes in health care and society have led to new and increased awareness of the ethical dimension of nursing and its impact on the delivery of high-quality care (Coverston & Rogers, 2000). In their daily practice, nurses are constantly confronted with decision-making that is ethical in nature. An ethical dilemma is a situation wherein moral precepts or ethical obligations conflict in such a way that any possible resolution to the dilemma is morally intolerable. In other words, an ethical dilemma is any situation in which guiding moral principles cannot determine which course of action is right or wrong. One of the systematic approaches available to nurses in solving ethical dilemma is the ethical decision-making model presented below. •
Identify the ethical issue and dilemma.
Place them within a meaningful context.
Obtain all relevant facts.
Reformulate ethical issues and dilemmas if needed.
Consider appropriate approaches to actions or options.
Make decisions and take action.
Evaluate decisions and action.
(Stanhope & Lancaster, 2012).
Nursing is a profession that requires special knowledge and skills; ethical decision-making is one of the skills that nurses use daily. Nurses providing care in the home are often required to make decisions about ethical aspects of their practice. The model presented above enables the nurse to be more organized when collecting data related to the ethical issue, examining the moral values of key individuals and assessing the final decision. In the case study presenting Julie a teenager with poorly controlled diabetes, the nurse utilizes the ethical decision making model to analyze the situation and reach an ethically sound nursing decision.
Firstly the nurse identifies the ethical issue and dilemma involved in the situation. In Julie’s case, she is a teenager with uncontrolled diabetes; Julie likes to have a drink at parties and then adjust her diet to compensate for extra carbohydrates. The ethical...
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