Explain An Ethical Dilemma In Nursing Ethics

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The aim of this assignment is to describe an ethical dilemma from nursing practice and by using an ethical framework critically analyse the main issues arising from the problem. The essay will discuss the definition of ethics and it will briefly discuss the main theories of ethics. It will examine an ethical dilemma surrounding organ transplantation and it will analyse the conflicts by using the main principles of ethics. Finally, it will give recommendation in relation to ethics and its application to nursing practice. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which is concerned with defining the concepts of right and wrong and the morality of human actions and decisions (Chaloner, 2007). The terms ethics and morals are generally undifferentiated…show more content…
The Health Information and Quality Authority (2017) stated that the respect for autonomy is an important aspect of health care and it is also vital in delivering person-centred care. The patients’ autonomy is an essential aspect of nursing practice and it is incorporated into the Code of Conduct as the principles of Respect for the Dignity of the Person and Trust and Confidentiality (NMBI, 2014). Furthermore, Pojman & Fieser (2009) highlighted the importance of autonomy as it can take priority over other principles, such as beneficence. Beauchamp & Childress (2001) stated that it is an essential requirement to respect the patients’ autonomous choices and it is not only a belief but a professional obligation. The principle of autonomy respects the individuals’ lifestyle choices regardless of the outcomes on their health. Therefore, they should have the same rights to receive an organ transplant as everyone else. However, Brock & Wikler (2006) argued that individuals are responsible for their health behaviours and they should be aware of the consequences of those behaviours. Therefore, those patients whose lifestyle choices led to their illness should be aware that their behaviour may lower their priority for accessing organ transplantation (Brock &…show more content…
The principle of justice addresses the concepts of fair opportunity, fair distribution, equality and utility (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). The distributive justice theory is concerned with the allocation of available resources and it identified certain criteria to govern distribution, including equal access and maximum benefit (Center for Bioethics, 2004). Those who support equality in organ transplantation agree that organ distribution should be free of prejudices based on race, social status or age (Center of Bioethics, 2004). Therefore, this group would also include those individuals whose illness is a consequence of their lifestyle. Beauchamp & Childress (2001) argued that there are other factors in addition to lifestyle choices that can influence the health of a person, including genetics, environmental and social conditions. Consequently, excluding those people from organ transplantation whose illness was caused by their lifestyle would be unjust. However, Moss & Siegler (1991) supported the idea of maximum benefit and stated that giving lower priority to patients with alcohol-related end-stage liver failure is not unfair because it is more worthy to give the organ to someone who is not responsible for their ill health and could benefit the most from
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