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4 pages/≈1100 words
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Health, Medicine, Nursing
English (U.S.)
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Describe an Ethical Dilemma in the Nursing Profession (Essay Sample)


•Introduce the conceptual frameworks of the ethical constructs of ethics, moral, or legal standards and the purpose of the paper. 
•Consider an ethical, moral, or legal dilemma that you have encountered in your work environment and describe it. 
•Analyze the moral, ethical, and legal implications utilized in this situation. Describe your role as a moral agent or advocate for this specific issue. 
•Consider your leadership styles identified by your self-assessment and determine if they act as a barrier or facilitation during this dilemma.


An Ethical Dilemma in the Nursing Profession
Institutional Affiliation
An Ethical Dilemma in the Nursing Profession
Ethics provide guidelines to the actions for individual regarding what is right or wrong. What is right or wrong differ in different regions, scenarios, and professions (Butts, 2012). Individuals are required to adhere to these codes of conduct to be considered compliant with the ethical principles guiding the community or profession. In the nursing profession, observance of professional values and norms is vital for all members of this noble profession (Toren, 2010). Adequate knowledge and professional competence play an important role in helping the practicing nurses to observe the ethical principles. According to Toren (2010), an ethical dilemma results from a difficult situation when an individual is required to make a decision from two equally difficult and conflicting situations. The rationale of this paper is to discuss the framework of ethics, the ethical and moral dilemma in the nursing profession, the role of nurses as moral agents as well as the consideration of a leadership style.
Ethics’ conceptual framework
An ethical framework has the role of guiding the action of people in their attempts to overcome situations resulting from an ethical dilemma (Toren, 2010). Teleological theory plays a crucial role in the development of ethics. It proposes that actions resulting in greater benefits to most people should be undertaken. Other commonly applied ethical framework is the intuitionism that proposes that ethical problems should be compared on the basis of the belief of the concerned individuals. On its part, the right based reasoning persons should not be interfered with while making their decisions. On the other hand, duty based reasoning motivates people to carry out tasks that are necessary or avoid them altogether (Butts 2012).
Ethical dilemma in the work environment
Nurses are faced with different situations that by the end of the day become ethical dilemmas. During the execution of their duties, nurses are expected to solve ethical dilemmas in the best and most professional way (Toren, 2010). Inappropriate decision making by nurses would result to negligence a situation which is avoided by each and every practicing nurse. Ethical issues, if not handled professionally have severe consequences to nurses ranging from withdrawal of their licenses by professional bodies regulating them among others like prosecution depending on the legislation in their respective nations. Among these dilemmas is the end of life in the ICU. The intensive care units together with therapies performed are believed to prolong the life of patients. Most patients who die in hospitals spend their last hours, days or even months in the ICU (Curtis, 2010).
The ethical dilemma arose when an 80-year-old man was admitted suffering from chronic obstruction pulmonary disease. The patient was also suffering from kidney failure making his situation more complicated. The team of doctors treating him also anticipated that his health was deteriorating as there was no sign of improvement. A close examination of the patient revealed that a heart failure problem was developing gradually. Due to the poor prognosis of the man, the patient’s eldest daughter met with the doctors to discuss the appropriateness of the continui...
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