Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare – Medical Ethics Example

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"Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare" is a great example of a paper on medical ethics. Who has the right to make ethical decisions? Ethical decision-making is analogous to the scientific method whereby an assessed dilemma goes through a rule process from which a principle may be established toward appropriate resolution once a theory is arrived at just as how a discovery in science initiates with an observation then hypothesis prior to theory and law. In this regard, whenever a medical conflict emerges, a healthcare provider in charge may readily respond to the patient’ s needs by administering treatment as well as the moral duty of maintaining the confidentiality of records concerning the type of sickness, medical procedure, and substance applied.

However, the responsibility to decide in a situation that involves an ethical dilemma ought to be taken by the patient. Thus, it is the patient or the autonomous person who possesses the right to make an ethical decision while the attending medical authority serves as a guide for such individual under therapy or operation to come up with an option based on a principle that is beyond the professional discretion of a doctor or a nurse. Can you describe an instant in which the physician assumed the authority to make an ethical decision, denying nurses (and perhaps the patient and family) participation in the decision-making process? One particular instance of a physician in the event of claiming a right to moral choice in advance apart from permission or consent by the family or second opinion by nurses would be when the doctor is caught in a setting where the ‘ patient in coma’ for example needs immediate amputation of limbs to prevent the exponential growth and spread of a deadly virus.

With this, the doctor is unable to obtain a viewpoint of the patient and he would rather necessitate such action especially on supposing that it is more ethical to preserve human life so there is no way he could wait for approval even from the parents for the time constraint becomes an essential factor that keeps him from the advantage of external consultation. This may be rare but it is normally the wise doctor who is capable of rendering an ethical judgment after the pure will of saving life despite the risks of pain or delicate costs of medication. If you feel you have an important contribution to make in a particular circumstance, and your opinion is not considered, how do you react? I would most probably imagine myself in a state of objection in case I know I have an indispensable contribution to make yet which is deliberately ignored by colleagues.

Nevertheless, it would not amply matter if the patient were the one to turn down my personal theory knowing that the manner he or she conveys subjectivism is not a function of my knowledge but chiefly of ethical reasoning to which most people are conveniently disposed. How do you think nurses can overcome the strong heritage of subjugation? Besides performing their standard clinical duties, I think nurses can acquire the potential to surpass the strong heritage of subjugation by engaging themselves more deeply in inpatient care.

Once the doctor or medical staff in higher command witnesses that a nurse takes more than the typical amount of tasks or level of commitment and observes that the patient’ s good progress is sustained, the nurse would certainly be made eligible in playing a more significant role in providing an expert advise.

Since there exists constant communication between the nurse and the patient in this scenario, the former would be thought of as sufficiently acquainted with the latter that the majority of his co-workers would eventually develop trust in his valuable ideas in dealing with the patient’ s condition.  


Burkhardt, M. and Nathaniel A. (2007). Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing. 3rd ed. Delmar Cengage Learning.

Burkhardt. “Chapter 6: Ethical Decision Making.” Retrieved from on June 5, 2012.

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