HLSC220 Health Care Ethics Assignment

Added on - 29 Apr 2020

  • HLSC220

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Running head: HEALTH ETHICS HLSC220Health ethics HLSC220Name of the student:Name of the University:Author’s note
1HEALTH ETHICS HLSC220Introduction:Nurses working in health care setting are often confronted by daily ethical challenges inthe delivery of care. According to the professional and ethical code of conduct in nursingpractice, nurses are often required to uphold the moral values and principle to create anenvironment of trust with patients and avoid ethical conflicts. Adherence to ethical code ofnursing practice is also necessary to develop trust with patient. However, nurses often faceethical challenges in the provision of care (Ulrich et al., 2010, pp.2510-2519). To understand thekind of ethical issues experienced by nurses in daily practice, the report mainly analyzes theexperience of Camilla’s, a nurse while working on a surgical unit with Sam, a 21 year old manwith acute abdominal pain. Based on the identification of ethical issues in the scenario, furtherdiscussion is presented with support from several ethical theory, ethical principles & values,professional code of ethics. It also provides recommendation about the strategies that nurse canemploy to overcome the ethical challenges in the care process.Identification of ethical issues at stake: 100 words approxThe nurse Camilla faced challenges in completing the vital sign assessment process forSam because he was very aggressive and resistive during the procedure. Sam was also verballyabusing Camilla and pulling out the IV cannula. The medical team had ordered that physicalrestraints be applied on Sam, however as Camilla was worried this might cause further harm topatient, she took advice from the nurse-in charge Julia regarding the issue. Julia also favoredmedical team’s order and asked Camilla to focus on other patient and apply physical constrainton him. The main ethical dilemma in the case scenario is the conflict between the ethicalprinciple of beneficence and non-maleficence. According to the principle of non-maleficence,
2HEALTH ETHICS HLSC220(avoid unnecessary harm to patients or other during care), the action of physical restraint wasjustified. However, due to the use of physical restraint, there is high possibility of patient beingmore aggressive and harming himself and others. Hence, the use of physical restraint is inviolation of the ethical principle of beneficence (promote well-being of patient) (Luk et al.,2014).It is an ethical decide for Camilla to decide whether priority should be given to non-maleficence principle or beneficence of patients and she should go ahead with physical restraintfor Sam or not.Ethical perspective on the issue:The above dilemma of exercising physical constrain on Sam is an ethical dilemma for thenurse, Camilla. Physical restraint is defined as the use of any device or equipment around thepatient’s body to deliberately control their free movement. This type of constraints is mainlyapplied for older patients with functional disabilities or patients with cognitive disturbance orbehavioral problem (Heeren et al., 2014). Use of physical restraint was proposed for Samconsidering his aggressive behavior and past medical history of multiple hospital admissions fordrug related psychosis. However, use of physical restraint is considered as an ethical issue fornurses because of the physical risk to patient. For example, physical restraint is associated withphysical harm to patients such as bruises, increased agitation, undernutrition and many others. Itincreases the chance of conflict for nurse because use of physical constraint does not meettherapeutic needs of patients (Hofmann & Hahn, 2014). Hence, reconsidering the need forphysical constraint is necessary for nurses because of the chances of harm for patient.Considering the requirements of ethical justice in using physical constraint is alsonecessary for nurse according to the virtue theory. The Virtue theory emphasizes on the
3HEALTH ETHICS HLSC220individual character of the person on ethical thinking. This means that while doing professionalduty to achieve good consequences for any person, the character traits of a person must beanalyzed (Bell, Dyck & Neubert, 2017).Hence, the virtue theory mainly supports the fact thatuniversal principles cannot be applied in all moral situations and impact of any actions must beevaluated on the basis of individual character of patient. Therefore, Camilla’s worry for safety ofpatient is justified according to the virtue theory because physical constraint may further causeharm to Sam. However, the medical team and the nurse leader’s decision to proceed withphysical restraint seem to go with the deontological theory. This is because deontology theoryjudges the morality of an action based on established rules and the nurse leader may justify heraction by stating that it is a usual norm to use physical restraint on patient who is aggressive(Lazar 2017).Use of deontological theory is not favored for moral decision making in Camilla’scase because such theory lacks justified decision making and has many risk and uncertainty withthe decision.Alternative perspective:The ethical issue in using physical constraint for Sam can also be explained by the ethicalprinciple of beneficence. According to the ethical principle of beneficence in nursing practice,the nursing action must be such that it promotes well-being for patien. In accordance with thisprinciple, a nurse has the responsibility to prevent harm in patient and defend the rights of otherby analyzing the benefits against possible risk of an action. Hence, Camilla’s action of clarifyingthe use of physical restraint for Sam is a morally sound action by her because she weighed theintervention against harm for patient.Moghadam, Khoshknab & Pazargadi, (2014) alsosupported the fact that although physical restraint is used to manage maladaptive behavior andreduce aggression, however negative effects of aggression such as stimulation of aggression and
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