Examples Of Ethical Dilemmas In Truth Telling

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After understanding the ethical theories and principle, the reason of ethical dilemmas in truth telling should be know first. Truth telling means do not tell lie and do not hide information. From a study by Fielding, Wong and Ko (1998), most of patients actually know the name of cancer. However, the nature of cancer i.e. benign or malignance was not known. Besides, only a few patients discuss with prognosis. Family members even received more information than patients. The ethical dilemma is when, how and how much to tell cancer patients about their diagnosis and prognosis. It seems that doctors’ attitudes towards truth telling to cancer patients are mainly balance between autonomy and nonmaleficence. The reasons of non-disclosure towards cancer…show more content…
Nurses felt uncertain about the extent of information given to patients by doctors. They were afraid to have conflict between doctors’ information. Some relatives did not want patients to know their diagnosis and prognosis. Nurses would feel conflict about the right course of action. Besides, family members would make decision that countered patients’ wish.
Nurses role in truth telling Currently, nurses tended to distance themselves from their patients for fear of criticise from doctors for disclosing information asked by the patient. When nurses were unsure of the information given from doctors, they might avoid the patient in order not to be asked a question outright, rather than telling lie. Nurses had a key role in supporting patients and relatives when bad news is given. As they spent most of the time with patients at the front of care and treatment, trust always established between patients and nurses. Nurses should act as an advocator for patients by independently communication with doctors about patients’ preferences. Multidisciplinary approach toward patient care should be adopted. When time of truth disclosure, nurses should be present. Team members worked together and stayed along with patients and relatives to ensure that the care provided is appropriate and timely. In case of truth disclosure was needed, team members could discuss strategies in advance. Decisions
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