Ethical dilemmas are an extremely common issue that every person that works in some type of business will face. It is not an easy task for a person to have an ethical situation and be the one to choose the “best” outcome. In this scenario, a thirteen month old who has whooping cough and a family who are on both sides about giving him medical treatment due to his mother’s beliefs. Making the most effective decision for treatment in a timely matter could determine the outcome of the child’s health.
Ethical Dilemma in Nursing
“Nearly all healthcare clinicians have or will encounter ethical dilemmas during their clinical operations. Consequently most of them get no training on how to solve the situation. The clinical professionals should be trained on how to resolve ethical dilemma cases, since they are vulnerable to this kind of cases. Cases of ethical dilemmas affect almost every person regardless of their class or status in the society. Ethical dilemmas in clinical organization affect both the executives and their subjects’ indifferent levels. The heads find themselves perplexed by some ethical issues in their operations, the same way their juniors would experience ethical dilemmas in their standards,”(Welch, 2001, p.1). When placed in certain situations when life and death are involved immediate decisions are sometimes hastily made resulting in hurting one party, but should be made with the best interest of the overall outcome. Ethical dilemmas happen every day in working lives of a healthcare professional, but what matters is how the situation is handled. When working as a healthcare professional, you must be unbiased in your job because you are not the one to judge, you just need to help resolve the dilemma to the best of your ability.
The ethical dilemma involves a little thirteen month old boy who is critically ill and needs medical treatment immediately. The father and mother of the little boy are arguing over whether the child should be given medical treatment, however the mother is a Christian scientist and does not permit conventional medical treatment or hospitalization. Being from the Church of Christ Scientist, they do not accept medical care for themselves, or their children, in most cases. Christian Scientist believe they can be healed through prayer alone. The dilemma in this situation is the mother, who is not the biological mother for the little boy, but is putting his life in jeopardy. The biological father, who does not live with or have legal custody of the child, wants him to be treated so that he can have a full recovery and a live a healthy life. In this case, the healthcare professionals must decide which party to coincide with. When trying to decide the best option for the child’s life, you must consider no maleficence, duty to act with beneficence, and respect for the child’s autonomy.
Decision Making Model
Uustal decision making model should be used. This 9 step decision model will provide the most effective outcome in providing the best intentions of the patient. It is used by applying nine steps of ethical dilemmas. First, identifying one’s intention in the goal to be made. Second, preform a survey of one’s choices to verify the option of living. You then must identify the multitude of values and focus on what is overall outcome that is trying to be reached and how it will affect the child. The fourth step is acknowledging the importance of the decision that is made and why it was chosen. Fifth step, is organizing one’s energy and time to effectively prepare for the ethical solution. Six, setting forth a decision making plan, one must make a feasible decision before applying ethical solutions. The seventh step, identification of options focusing on the most effective one to make the ethical solution appropriately. Step eight, focusing on evaluation of the different options taken and seeking supportive literature when necessary. The last step, is based on making a conscious choice on budget and time, concentrating on the main focus and an resolving the dilemma effectively.
Resolving Dilemma Using Uustal Model
The first step is making sure that the child get the most effective treatment to speed up his recovery time. Second step, you must weigh out both options of planned treatment, which is extremely valuable because meningitis is curable if treated, but if not it can lead to permanent disability or death. Fast treatment is needed, but the step-mother denies any help and the father who doesn’t have custody wants him treated. The mother needs to have a psychologist talk to her to talk to her about the outcomes of no treatment for her child. Third step, with the boy’s life at stake, he will either die or have a lifelong disability which would tear the mother apart, but she is the one refusing treatment and this will become a legal matter. Fourth step, the child will make a full recovery if the medical treatment of aggressive antibiotics is offered immediately. The fifth step, the time is of the essence, the decision must be made in order to get the most effective treatment without medicine within twenty-four hours he could die. Sixth step, have the nurse, social worker, doctors, and father/mother meet in order to have a conversation explaining significance of the disease and the actions that need to be implemented for their child to have a full recovery. If they do not agree the social worker can make it a legal matter and file for negligence, with the hospital lawyer, by the mother. If this is the case all of her rights will be taken away and full custody will be given to the father, in which he would make all of the decisions regarding treatment. Seventh step, in my opinion I would chose to side with the father because this will get the most effective help for the little boy especially since the disease is curable and time is of the essence. Step eight, getting the doctor and psychologist involved will be beneficial weight making the decision for help in order to come up with detailed reason in order to convince the step-mother to change her decision. The final step, the point when the decision is finalized, this is when the solution is presented to the parents.
Ethical dilemmas are extremely common in the medical environment today. Every person has to have their own reason based on their own ethical principles. However, there are several aspects that affect ethical decisions. The hospital could be sued, the medical personnel could lose their job, and the repetition of action on another occasion. Facing and solving ethical dilemmas is not an easy task. In order to find a solution you must look at several aspects of the same situation in hopes of finding the most feasible solution. In this scenario, the mother did not want to change her beliefs and continued to refuse treatment even after speaking to the social worker, doctors, and a psychologist. She was given several facts on the disease and the time that you need to give treatment in order for it to be effective, also she was told about what consequences would happen if she chose not to go with the treatment respectively, but yet, she still chose to stick to her beliefs and avoid treatment for her child. The social worker then filed the case as a legal matter with the hospital lawyer and the father was given full custody of the little boy. He was given medical treatment of aggressive antibiotics and made a full recovery after five days.
Welch, J. R. (1970, January 01). Two Types of Moral Dilemma. Retrieved November 2, 2018, from https://philpapers.org/rec/WELTTO-4