Elder Abuse : An Ethical Dilemma

1280 Words Nov 17th, 2015 6 Pages
Elder Abuse: An ethical Dilemma
Nurses confront numerous dilemmas throughout their professional lives. The different types of dilemmas include, but are not limited to, ethical, moral, and legal dilemmas. These are the three most common dilemmas in nursing. A dilemma can be defined in many different ways. But all dilemmas are situations in which you have to make a difficult choice. Chiaranai (2011) states that an “ethical dilemma is a circumstance that arises from fundamental conflicts between ethical beliefs, duties, principles and theories” (p. 250). Therefore, an ethical dilemma forces the nurse to address thought on what is right and what the harm might be to the patient. A current ethical issue is elder abuse. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2015) defines mistreatment of the elderly, as “any single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or discomfort to an older person.” A distinction of elder abuse compared to domestic violence, sexual assault or fraud is that “elder mistreatment implies that the recipient of the mistreatment is in a situation or condition in which the ability to protect oneself is limited in some way” (Touchy & Jett, 2012, p. 401). Elder abuse represents a serious social problem, which is only on the rise because of the longevity and increased dependence of some elders (Martins, Neto, Andradea, & Albuquerquea, 2014). Elder abuse entails many…

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