Explain the Characteristics of an Ethical Dilemma. How Do They Differ from Other Situations Resulting in Disagreement Between Conflicting Preferences, Needs, or Expectations?

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Re:Module 1 DQ 1

An ethical dilemma is when a situation arises and causes an individual to question how he/she should react towards a certain situation and how they should make an informed decision based on what they believe is right or wrong. It’s the principal of having to show moral character especially when faced with a complex condition presented by a person or society. Furthermore, a special case of a dilemma involves justice issues when there is not enough supply of a needed resource or service (Purtilo, Doherty 2011). Ethical dilemmas are unforeseen, unpredictable and often times can be very multifaceted. Nurses are always faced with an ethical dilemma, no matter what department or unit they work in. Beneficence, justice, autonomy, veracity and respect for persons are characteristics, which all nurses must have in order to be ethical. Nurses must always show compassion and prioritize the needs and safety of their patients first. Patients must always be able to maintain autonomy by being able to make decisions for themselves and health care workers must respect their decision despite their personal convictions. This is especially difficult when the patient’s beliefs and values are in conflict with our own personal values and opinions. Patients sometimes may make decisions that are unsafe, such as refusing treatment for their baby, or may refuse medication or life saving procedures. These types of real life situations will have nurses finding themselves tied up in an ethical dilemma. Withholding treatment due to a nurse’s own personal values or opinions goes against beneficence and ignoring their wishes takes away their autonomy. No matter how difficult a situation may be, nurses must always ask questions, seek help from peers, superiors and even their ethics committees if applicable. I don’t think a nurse will always have an answer to a…...

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