Ethical decision in Health care


Research has indicated that personal values, morals and ethics havea direct influence on the decisions that a personal makes. This iseven more prevalent in the healthcare sector where medicalpractitioners are supposed to make various decisions regarding thehealth of the patients (Husted &amp Husted, 2008). It is evidentlyclear that there are some decisions such whether to abort or not andwhether to inject a patient with euthanasia or not that attract thevalues of a person, his morals and the work ethics. The upbringing ofa person, his social economic status, family structure, community andpersonal experiences all have an influence on the decisions thatnurses and other medical practitioners make in their daily life.

In my upbringing, it is immoral and unethical to end the life of aperson. The community I come from upholds the values of life andbelieves that it is only God who has the moral authority to end thelife of a person (Panicola, 2007). This could have an effect on thedecisions made regarding euthanasia. It is evident that this is arife debate in the United States and across Europe. The practice ofending the life of a person with terminal and painful illness may beacceptable by law in the US, but it against the morals of somemedical practitioners (Husted &amp Husted, 2008). Morals areprinciples which are used by medical practitioners and otherprofessionals at large to determine what is right and what is wrong.There are some people who believe that ending the life of a person isindeed right while others believe that this is wrong. It is thereforeabundantly clear that when the two people are given a choice, theywill make different decisions regarding the same topic.

The family structure that a medical practitioner comes from maydetermine the decisions that he or she makes regarding the health ofsome individuals. For instance, nurses who come from families whichdo not uphold same sex marriages may be hesitant to offer treatmentto same sex couples. The structure may be that of a father, motherand children. The upbringing may have also been that of having a maleand female as the parents. It may be therefore seem immoral for sucha medical practitioner to treat same sex marriages. Personal values,ethics and morals all work in tandem in influencing the decisionsthat healthcare workers make. Another aspect where the morals, valuesand ethics of a health worker may influence the decision he or shemakes is with regard to abortion (Panicola, 2007). Some healthworkers hold onto the value of life and therefore consider abortionas immoral and unethical. It is useful to note that in mostinstances, whatever a health workers views as immoral will beunethical and will not be a priority for the health worker. Anotherexample of a situation which may attract the values, morals and theethics of a health worker is the use of placebo treatment. It isclear that placebo treatment is a form of deception to the patient. Ahealth worker from a religious background or upbringing may find itunethical and against his value of honesty to offer placebotreatment.

It is clear that values, morals and ethical may and indeed affectsthe decisions that are made by health workers. The health workersmake decisions which are in line with their values. The healthworkers are at times in dilemma as to what constitutes the rightthing. Professional ethics may conflict with personal values andpersonal morals (Devettere, 2009). Although health workers may notnecessarily make a final decision for instance regarding thetreatment of same sex couples, they might offer substandardtreatment. As a health worker, these aspects of personal values,morals and ethics may affect the quality of service I offer and orthe decisions I make regarding the health of a patient. I would notassist a person to conduct as that is against my values and it istherefore immoral and unethical. Additionally, I would not conducteuthanasia on a patient with terminal illness. This is against thereligious beliefs that I subscribe to and also against my upbringingteachings.

More often than not, the personal values of health workers interferewith the preferences of the patient and or the family of the patient(Devettere, 2009). For instance, my values are against abortion and Imight not assist a patient to conduct abortion. This will be againstthe wishes of the patient and or her preferences. It might be thatthe patient needs to get rid of the unborn child since she has nomeans to bring up the child. She might have a genuine need to conductthe abortion, but my values and morals will go against her needs.Additionally, families with a patient suffering from a terminalillness may resolve to have the patient’s life terminated to endthe terminal pain. Since my values and morals, as well as ethics areagainst ending the life of a person, it is clear that there will be aconflict of interest. My decision of not ending the life of aterminally ill person will go against the preferences of the family.

My personal worldview is backed up by the virtue ethics theoreticalframework. Virtue theory asserts that the individual character ismore paramount in ethical thinking or ethical decisions (Devettere,2009). The theory puts little emphasis on the actions or the ethicaldecisions or their consequences but emphasizes on the individualcharacter. The theory uphold virtue, which is said to be theintelligence or the knowledge or knowing what is right and what iswrong. My knowledge, morals, values and ethics assist me to know whatis right and what is wrong and make decisions based on suchknowledge. It is evident that the theory does not focus largely onthe decision made or the outcome of the decision, but focuses on whatis right or wrong for the decision maker. As a health practitioner, Imake decisions which am convinced are right. For instance, if I holdthe view that abortion is wrong, the theory will support my decisionto refuse to conduct abortion.

It is abundantly clear from the discussion above that morals, ethicsand values have a direct effect on the decisions that I make as ahealth practitioner (Devettere, 2009). I make decision which amconvinced that they are right and that my conscience will not beaffected in the future. It is essential to state that these decisionsare sometime in conflict with the interests and the needs of thepatients or their families. However, I believe that it is prudent tomake decisions which one is convinced they are right.

Teammate one answer discussion

The Nightingale&nbsppledge and the Hippocratic Oath havedirect influences on the duties and functions of nurses. They affecthow nurses carry out their practices and the decisions they makeregarding their duties. Personal values may affect the decisions thata nurse makes. There are some personal values that coincide with theethics of healthcare as described in the Nightingale pledge and theHippocratic Oath. Children gain personal values from parents,teachers and people in the society and these values determine thedirection that these children will take in life. Personal values suchas honesty and trustworthiness are essential in the health caresector. They are fundamental values when dealing with patients. It isalso essential to state that the values of dependability andindividuality are critical in the healthcare sector.

Nurses must be hard working or dependable since their patients relyon them for the health care services. Additionally, the value ofindividuality is essential where a nurse maintains secrecy with thepatient’s information. These personal values are in line with theethics described by the Nightingale&nbsppledge and the HippocraticOath. The theoretical framework of deontology is best suited to theabove personal values. This is because the framework asserts that canbe termed as good if it can be applied universally. It is abundantlyclear that the values of honesty, trustworthiness, individuality anddependability are values that can be applied universally in anycircumstance.

Teammate two answer discussion

It is clear from the answer that personal believes and values areessential in the code of conduct that individuals portray. This isseen in the healthcare sector. The personal values and beliefs areshaped by the family interactions and the experiences that peoplehave at their young ages. The values of loyalty, trustworthiness,honesty, respect, compassion and resilience are essential in thehealthcare industry. It is essential to note that the decisions thata nurse makes are influenced by both the professional ethics and thepersonal values that an individual has (Ametrano, 2014). More oftenthan not, the personal values and the professional healthcare ethicsas described in the Nightingale&nbsppledge and the Hippocratic Oath,conflict hence creating dilemmas in the decision making process. Aspeople increase in the decision making process, does the complexityof the morals and values increase. It is essential for some people insuch a situation to arrive at a compromise in order to make adecision that promotes health care ethics.

The principle based theoretical approach fits best with the abovedescribed values. This is an approach that insists on the applicationof ethical principles to resolve ethical problems. It is an approachthat can be applied in instances where there are various conceptswhich can be evaluated to arrive at a final ethical decision(Ametrano, 2014). Decision making in health care industry are largelyinfluenced by the Nightingale&nbsppledge and the Hippocratic Oath,as well as the personal values. Nurses must treat patients withhonesty and integrity. It is also essential to keep the patientinformation confidential and to respect the wishes of the patientsand the relatives.

Teammate three answer discussion

The Hippocratic Oath and the Nightingale&nbsppledge insiston following the work and nursing professional ethics. The author ofthis answer describes his personal value of following theprofessional ethics which is essential in the nursing practice aswell as in the decisions that are made by nurses. The other personalvalues of honesty and integrity are vital in the nursing practice.Nurses must be honest with their patients and integrity ensures thatnurses handle patient information confidentially and also respect thepatients and their relatives. The family background and the bringingup of a child form the core personal values of a person. Thesevalues, when aligned with the professional health care ethics, arecritical in ensuring that the decisions and the practices of healthcare professionals promote the health of the patients.

Accountability and work ethics are also essential attributes in thenursing industry. Health care workers make decisions depending ontheir morals and work ethics which are described in the pledge and inthe oath. It is always essential to make decisions that promote thehealth of the patients and to ensure that the practices and dutiesone is involved in are in line with the health care profession(Purtilo, 2011). The answer describes clearly how the aspects ofmorality and ethics are critical in the decision making process inthe nursing profession.

Teammate four answer discussion

This answer describes clearly that decision making approachis developed from childhood through to adulthood. This involves theexperiences that a person has, his family, religion and country whereone grew up. These elements affect the decisions that the healthpractitioner makes in his day to day duties and practices. The authorof the answer brings forth a different perspective that of culturaldifferences where the patients come from different culturalbackgrounds. It is essential, as the author states, to offer servicesuniversally without discrimination. This is the call made by theHippocratic Oath and the Nightingale&nbsppledge. Patients must betreated with respect and dignity regardless of their culturalbackground. It is clear from the answer that the nurse mustcompromise some of his or her beliefs in order to promote theprofessional ethics of the nursing industry.

It is worth noting, as the author of the answer asserts, that thenurse or the health professional must follow the professional ethicsdespite the background of the patient. It is clear from the examplegiven that the patient who had died was an important member of thecommunity and giving any additional information such as the cause ofdeath only added agony to the mourners (Purtilo &amp Doherty, 2011).However, it is required in the professional ethics that suchinformation be relayed to the patient’s families. In other words,it is clear that the professional ethics determines the finaldecision that a nurse makes. Cultural elements do not come across theprofessional ethics.


Husted, J. H., &amp Husted, G. L. (2008).&nbspEthical decisionmaking in nursing and health care: The symphonologicalapproach. New York: Springer Pub. Co.

Devettere, R. J. (2009).&nbspPractical Decision Making in HealthCare Ethics: Cases and Concepts. Washington: GeorgetownUniversity Press.

Panicola, M. R. (2007).&nbspAn introduction to health careethics: Theological foundations, contemporary issues,and controversial cases. Winona, MN: Saint Mary`s Press.

Purtilo, R., &amp Doherty, R. (2011). Ethical Dimension in theHealth Profession (5th ed.). [Pageburst]. 7/recent

Purtilo, R. a. (2011). Ethical Dimensions in the HealthProfessions, 5th Edition. W.B. Saunders Company.

Ametrano, I. M. (2014). Teaching Ethical Decision Making: HelpingStudents Reconcile Personal and Professional Values. Journal OfCounseling &amp Development, 92(2), 154- 161.doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.2014.00143.x