What are some Ethical Dilemma topics in nursing

  1. Hello everyone, I am taking an ethical and legal aspect class. This class is normally for students who are in already in their 3rd nursing semester, but I am taking this class in my very FIRST semester because they said it was only convenient for our schedule to work out, which I think is very unfair because I have not had any clinical experience.

    We are required to do a paper based on peer reviewed articles and I need your help in what types of topics I should write about. The topic can be on anything, but it has to have an ETHICAL DILEMMA NOT A CLINICAL DECISION. So a topic that I can find LOTS of ethical articles on would be a real help. And links to some articles would be nice.

    I really don't know where to start and how to begin. I am only in the 2nd week of classes and it's my first semester in nursing school. I don't know what kinds of ethical dilemmas can arise.....
    Please help.
    Thanks in advance.
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    About mlee9985

    Joined: May '07; Posts: 18; Likes: 2


  3. by   missjennmb
    I am not a student yet, but I was involved with a group advocating women's rights in the hospital setting (mostly related to birth practices) and we had a huge pile of ethical issues that we were protesting.

    When a woman goes in to have a baby, there is a list of standard proceedures that normally take place including various types of fetal monitoring/no food or drink/being unable to get out of bed/etc. It varies based on the facility and how far into the dark ages they are or are not. But basically, there is very little room in this standard practice for women to have a say in their births (some hospitals are worse than others and I'm sure there are some great ones that don't do this)

    I would see it as an ethical dillema if I was told by my superiors/hospital/doctors that I had to give x, y, z to a new mom or a new baby and the parents were refusing. There have also been situations where women were wheeled screaming into the OR for a cesarean they did not consent to (but that would obv be more of a doctor dillema).

    There are situations documented where women have been told it is illegal to refuse things and found out later that it simply wasn't true. Being put in that position of between a rock ("the system") and a hard place (the parents refusing a procedure) is a huge ethical dillema. Do you risk your job to support the patient or do you push them into something they don't want in order to keep the peace at your job?

    At the end of my last pregnancy, I was asking a lot of questions about a medication my OB practice wanted to put me on (not refusing, just asking) and the doctor actually had the gall to tell my husband that "pregnant women are like little children...sometimes you just have to scare them into doing what is best for them". Now THAT is an ethical dillema (as was the position my Nurse-Midwife was put in for trying to protect me and my rights without losing her job...in the end she chose her job and I was completely without a provider at 38wks pregnant)