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Ethics In Contemporary Practice (Inc HLSC220) Assignment - Ethical Dilema

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John Marsh
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Australian Catholic University

Ethics in Contemporary Practice (Inc: HLSC220) (HLSC304 )

HLSC220 Assignment – Ethical Dilema

Undoubtedly the compound system that is health care today, have factors, which can present
themselves as ethical, legal and professional dilemmas to the health care practitioners
(Townsend & Luck, 2013). In order to face this kind of challenging situations, one of the best
qualities that healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, depend upon is the ethical decision
making process (Bhanji, 2013). In this case study (Three) a paediatric ward nurse is faced
with a very young patient (Patrick), known to another tertiary centre, who is very unwell.
Though she advocated for him to be transferred to the tertiary centre, he continues to
progressively become sicker while the doctors carry on investigating. The mother (Sally) then
takes matters into her own hands and decides to take Patrick herself. As a result, there is
conflict between the principle of ethics including beneficence, non-maleficence and respect
for autonomy vs. professional code of conduct. Since the doctors and nurse does not view the
situation from a same prospective, the nurse is faced with the ethical dilemma of whether to
take some actions in order to protect the child or follow the clinicians order and participate
with in the ongoing treatment. Another dilemma is to respect autonomy and let Sally go to a
place where she knows Patrick will get appropriate tertiary level treatment (beneficence) or to
stop her from self discharging with out medical transport or appropriate handover to the
tertiary hospital, as this may lead to more harm en-route. Explanations of ethical principals,
code of ethics and profession conduct as well as ethical theory will be talked about further on.
One has to be morally sound when being involved in solving problems or ethical decisionmaking
– this is Ethical principlism (Beauchapm & Childress, 2013). In health care ethics, the
commonly referred ethical principles are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice
(Crisp, Douglas, Rebeiro & Waters, 2017). Firstly, under the ethical principle of beneficence,
healthcare professionals are to treat the patients in a manner that delivers optimum benefit to
that patient. On the other hand non-maleficence means do no harm. Harm for instance can be
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a result of failure to recognise any predictable outcomes of a proposed plan of action (Clarke,
Harris, & Cowland, 2017).

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Ethics In Contemporary Practice (Inc HLSC220) Assignment - Ethical Dilema

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