You find ethical issues and dilemmas in every field today. However, when it comes to dealing directly with people and treating them, you are faced with issues that you probably wouldn’t in many other fields. That is why the medical field holds ethics in high regards and has set a standard for doctors and nurses.
Both doctors and nurses are generally trained to deal with ethical issues when they arise. However, at times the issue isn’t one they have a clear training for. These dilemmas tend to leave a lasting impression on their lives, both personal and professional.
Ethical Issues That Occur in Nursing
Capacity and Consent
Everyone is well aware that the nurse’s job is to take care of patients. They also at times deliver the best treatment options to the patient, letting them know what their medical condition is along with treatment. According to law, it is solely up to the patient as long as they are mentally stable to make the call to opt for the treatment or not. If the patient is mentally unstable or not capable of making the decision then it is up to the family to decide. Nurses and doctors alike must respect the decision even if the patient or their family make a decision not to take a treatment that can cause them their life. Consent is required for them to be treated and without it, there is nothing the medical practitioner can do.
Autonomy and confidentiality
The Patient Bill of Rights has strictly outlined that medical practitioner must at all time maintain a confidentiality between the patient and themselves. This even means at times not telling the family of the patient the extent of the medical condition the patient, especially if the patient requests. Which also conflicts with the training given to the nurse to be open to family and provide as much information as possible. Putting them in a dilemma not to reveal too much when a patient doesn’t want information disclosed.
Non-compliance of the patient
There are many cases when patients constantly get the same treatment over and over again. They use the benefit of healthcare, spending taxpayer’s money to get treatment. When nurses are aware of such instances, they are put in a position of an ethical dilemma. While they can’t stop such incidents it puts them in a weird position, knowing that the patient is probably self-inducing injury themselves so they can get the same treatment. Then using taxpayer’s money to seek treatment.