Ethical Dilemma In Nursing Essay


Case description

Nurses face more and more ethical dilemmas during their practice nowadays, especially when they are taking care of the patient at end of life stage. The case study demonstrates an ethical dilemma when nursing staff are taking care of an end stage aggressive prostate cancer patient Mr Green who expressed the suicide thoughts to one of the nurses and ask that nurse keep secret for him in Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Ethical dilemma identification

The ethical dilemma is identified as “if the nursing staff should tell other health care team members about patient's suicide attempt without patient's consent”.


To better solving this case and making the best moral decision, the ethical theory, the ethical principles and the Australian nurses' code of ethics values statement, the associated literature relative with this case are analyzed before the decision making.

Ethical decision making

After consider all of the above factors, in this case, the best ethical decision for the patient is that the nurse share the information of Mr Green's suicide attempt with other health care professionals.


In Mr Green's case, the nurse chose to share the information of Mr Green's suicide attempt with other health care professionals. The nursing team followed the self-harm and suicide protocol of the hospital strictly, they maintained the effective communication with Mr Green, identified the factors which cause patient's suicide attempt, provided the appropriate nursing intervention to deal will these risk factors and collaborated with other health care professionals to prefect the further care. The patient transferred to a palliative care service with no sign of suicide attempt and other self-harm behaviors and passed away peacefully 76 days after discharged with his relatives and pastors accompany.

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A partner of a medium sized public relations firm is faced with a predicament. He is going through financial difficulties from mismanagement and is in dire need of a strong client. A demanding client who is capable of bringing in a multitude of money to the firm decides to show interest in the firm. The firm partner decides to put together the best team for the client. The team consists of: LaRayne, a research consultant with eight years of experience; Monroe, an incredibly productive graphic designer with over 15 years of experience; Jeff, a recent college graduate with limited PR experience who looks older with his prematurely gray hair and Drew, a responsible and dependable intern. The account manager for the team is Jane. She is a…show more content…

The firm partner can either keep Jane in charge of the account or risk losing a million dollar client and the firm’s reputation. Or, a less-qualified team can replace Jane, risking legal action by Jane and losing her to a competing firm. The situation questions the firm partner’s ethics.

Ethics can be defined as rules that govern the conduct by which one lives their life. This philosophy takes a look at what a person believes and makes them think about how to react to a situation when beliefs are challenged. Ethics govern the thought process, so that when a problem arises the solution is based off of one’s ethics. Ethics are important because they give a baseline for one to learn the difference between right and wrong. They are able to help people react to a certain situation before the situation actually happens. Ethical action involves both internal and external dimensions. Internally, one wants to decide towards certain moral goals. Externally, one bases his or her action on what is right in God’s eyes.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, dilemma is defined as an argument presenting two or more equally conclusive alternatives against an opponent. An ethical dilemma is considered to be a complex situation that involves a conflict between one’s moral imperatives. The conflict occurs when one has moral reasons to do either one of the two actions, but doing both is impossible. A

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