Ethical Dilemma in the Case
An ethical dilemma occurs when there is a conflict of values, principles, or moral imperatives within a situation. In the case, a child s diagnosed with meningitis and one parent, who bears the child’s primary custody insists that no medical treatment should be offered for religious reasons. The child’s biological father, who resides in another state feels that medical treatment should be administered. This gives rise to the ethical dilemma of the battle of beliefs because the physician’s science-based, empirical knowledge is subjective to the mother’s Christian Scientist beliefs.
The prohibition of medical procedures to the child would mean the difference between life and death. The attending physician is torn between supporting the mother’s right to the decision and freedom of religion, and using their power to urge the parent toward a treatment action through professional protection of vulnerable children. Additionally, the freedom of religion does not include the right to act in a manner that would result in death or harm to another person. Therefore, it is ethically justified for the physician to administer tr...
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...rstand the risk she may be taking with the child’s life, therefore, the information-processing model should guide the physician into making an informed decision. Therefore, the physician would thus need to integrate different aspects of information in the process of judging the situation to arrive at an evaluation. They will need to use the clinical information of the patient to assess their current health status and compare that with what they parents want done. This would be followed by generating tentative hypotheses regarding the patient’s condition and interpreting the registered cues as well as weighing the available alternative decisions before arriving at a conclusion. The physician should ask the parents to answer questions about the elective patient in mind. Such a task sets the scene to prompt the attending physician to bear in mind the judgment they make.
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