Ethical Situation Essay

Better Essays
Issue Identification and Explanation: Provide the reader with an in depth description of your ethical situation - for example: describe your situation so we can understand who is involved, what the ethical situation is, and why it is an ethical situation.
The ethical dilemma occurs when the nurse begins to administer medication to a fragile elderly patient who seems to have difficulty swallowing the pills administered. In the mean time, another nurse expresses that crushing the medication is acceptable since “they do it all the time.” However, the controlled release Morphine Sulfate specifies on the label that the medication should not be crushed. This is an ethical situation because there is an ethical and unethical manner that the nurse can
…show more content…
In this ethical situation, beneficence is the most important ethical principle for the nurse to consider because the nurse needs to perform care in a way that will benefit the patient and prevent harm. Since medication errors are an extreme risk factor in the healthcare setting, it is critical that the nurse always prevents harm of the patient. Ensuring that the patient is not going to be affected from crushing the medication is a priority to the nurse. Also, respect for autonomy relates to the elderly patient in this situation because the patient has the right to know what is occurring with their medications and how it might affect their health. The patient should be aware of their options to ensure that they can participate in the decision-making process. There may be other forms of medication that can be administered to aid their difficulty swallowing. Additionally, non-maleficence relates to this ethical situation when crushing the patients Morphine Sulfate and avoiding potential harm of the patient. Toxic effects of the medication could be a consequence as the nurse tries to do “good” while crushing the medication to promote easier swallowing. Fidelity is also applied to this ethical situation because it involves building trust with the patient and keeping commitments. Patients expect their care provider to uphold professional standards and the code of ethics when caring for them. It is important to maintain trust and build a therapeutic relationship with the patient. In this case, discussing the pharmacokinetics of their medication and other potential medication options would be beneficial to the patient to maintain optimal health and
Get Access