Ethical Legal Dilemmas In Nursing

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Introduction As an advanced practice nurse, one is bound to be faced with various ethical legal dilemmas that in most cases require urgent decision making that involve both moral and ethical considerations. Ethical dilemmas are basically situations where there are two available courses of action that completely contradict each other. The nurse has no choice but to make a decision between the two choices because each of the two decision choices is equally urgent and each of them seems to be the right one. This is what makes dealing with ethical legal dilemmas very stressful for both new nurses and experienced ones. It is thus noteworthy that as much as advanced practice nurses have a medical responsibility to provide care, they are also expected…show more content…
Here, the patient’s autonomy, human rights, informed refusal and consent come into play (Appelbaum, 2007). Informed consent can be defined as a situation where a patient that is undoubtedly informed wants to participate in the choices and decisions that are being made about his or her health while informed refusal, on the other hand, happens when the risks appertaining to a certain mode of treatment or the treatment itself are rejected based on the risks they pose to the patient’s health and wellbeing in general (Appelbaum, 2007). In such a case, the ethical aspects of deontology and consequentialism are to be explored before the process of decision making…show more content…
The patient is still in sound mind and can make his own decisions but has exhibited characteristics of continuously becoming weak and cannot effectively swallow after being affected by the stroke, and so he is very uncooperative when it comes to taking treatment. His power of attorney, who is his son has agreed to a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) through phone but the man declines the PEG tube insertion because of the health risks posed by these tubes and prefers to have homecare with hospice. He does not want to contract ventilator associated pneumonia as he is well informed of the health risks these tubes have on patients. The assessment done by the nurse indicates that the patient can make his own decisions. Additionally, his son also agrees with the decision made by the patient. From the ethical perspective, the consequentialist theory and deontology can be applied in the decision making of this case. According to deontology as Bingham (2012) puts it, an emphasis is placed on some actions as being inherently wrong or right based on what an individual ought to do as per their obligations and duties without considering the outcome. The consequentialist theory, on the other hand, looks at the consequences of the actions and chooses one that yields the least bad and the best. Legally, the rights of the patient, in
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