Ethical Dilemma Essays

Ethical Dilemma Essays

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The two principles that are in focus are beneficence and nonmaleficence. Both beneficence and nonmaleficence have played a fundamental historical role in medical ethics (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). Nonmaleficence is often paired with beneficence, but there is a difference between these two principles (Rich, 2008). According to Beauchamp and Childress (2009) conflating beneficence and nonmaleficence into a single principle obscures important distinctions. In addition, both of these ethical principles beneficence and nonmaleficence are strengthened by state nursing practice acts, which mandate that nurses are legally obligated to safeguard patients and the profession (Bjarnason & LaSala, 2011). Furthermore, it is with great purpose that we discuss the two principles beneficence and nonmalficence and their importance to the nursing profession.
The principle of beneficence is concerned with a moral obligation to act for the benefits of others (Kennedy, 2004). Additionally, beneficence is the principle consisting of deeds such as mercy, kindness, and charity (Rich, 2008). There are other forms of beneficence including altruism, love, and humanity (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). We use beneficence in order to cover beneficent actions more broadly, so that it includes all forms of action to benefit other persons (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). Overall, beneficence implies that an individual takes action to do good by benefiting others and facilitating their well-being. Beneficence also requires that benefits are balanced against risks and costs (Kennedy, 2004). In order for a person to “do good”, they must also consider the values of individual in question (Bjarnason & LaSala, 2011).
Health care professionals have a duty t...


... middle of paper ...


...ey encounter an ethical dilemma (Rich, 2008).
Nurses can also periodically be called to an ethics committee to consult to gain access to needed help to resolve ethical dilemmas. Serving on an ethics committee with other disciplines and discussing the ethical dilemmas brought before the committee can be an informing and challenging process for a nurse (Lachman, 2010). Furthermore, the opportunity to help patients, staff, and families resolve these dilemmas is professionally rewarding for a nurse (Lachman, 2010).
Overall, ethical dilemmas are faced every day in the clinical practice of nurses. When facing an ethical dilemma, remembering to preserve the patient's autonomy, dignity and rights is an important part of ethically solving the dilemma. However, if the ethical dilemma cannot be resolved nurses have the right to seek advice from other professionals.


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