Ethical Dilemmas Of Health Care

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Ethical Dilemmas in Health Care Nurses are constantly challenged by changes which occur in their practice environment and are under the influence of internal or external factors. Due to the increased complexity of the health system, nowadays nurses are faced with ethical and legal decisions and often come across dilemmas regarding patient care. From this perspective a good question to be raised would be whether or not nurses have the necessary background, knowledge and skills to make appropriate legal and ethical decisions. Even though most nursing programs cover the ethical and moral issues in health care, it is questionable if new nurses have the depth of knowledge and understanding of these issues and apply them in their practice…show more content…
I personally consider that changing the medical records in this way is both “legally and illegally inappropriate” (Lazaro, 2004) and I can identify 3 possible course of actions for Jill. She could completely rewrite her note, make no changes to the documentation or write an addendum to her previous progress note, which would explain clearly and in detail the care and treatment she performed on Mary. Even though she cannot remember for sure if she left the call light within Mary’s reach she could argue that is it her practice to always place the call light within reach of her patients. Ethical Theories The two ethical theories that can be found in this case are utilitarism and deontology. If Jill follows the utilitarian perspective, she could decide to alter the documentation in a way that protects her and the facility from a potentially law suit, but if she decides to follow the deontological perspective by not altering the documentation, she would put the patients’ needs and rights first. Ethical Principles. There are some legal and ethical principles Jill should take in consideration before she decides whether to revise her notes, as requested by the director of nursing and the facility administrator. First is the principal of beneficence which “requires nurses to act in ways that benefit patients” (Burkhardt, 2014, p.69). This principle tells us that one should promote good, prevent harm and remove evil or harm.
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