• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : GCNCP3
  • University :
  • Subject Name : Nursing

Ethical issues in the clinical area

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Content and Analysis



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Marking Rubric


According to Butts amp Rich (2019), ethics can be identified as an individuals or a particular entitys matter of interest in making sure that their practices withstand the immoral nature of the people and make sure that adequate amount of attention has been paid in the proper systematization, defending and recommending concepts with the right and wrong code of conduct. This particular section has the peculiar tendency to deal with the moral principles of an individual, business organisation or in a clinic (in this case). The ethical dilemma in nursing has the ability to take many forms. A nurse encounters the patient suffering on a daily basis and that has been identified as one of the biggest ethical challenge (Grace, 2017). There is also a significant amount of possibility that the interventions of the nurses might unknowingly end up increasing the pain and suffering of the patient. Other than that, on a day to day a nurse encounters numerous amount of ethical issues to deal with. As mentioned in the learning contract earlier, it was specified that I chose this topic to make sure that substantial amount of knowledge has been acquired in finding alternative values that would be beneficial for dealing with the ethical issues.
The learning objectives are as follows
To identify my readiness in learning almost every contribution ethics make in the nursing practice and clinical area
Understand the differences between ethical and unethical practices in the clinical area
Gain an understanding of the role of parental consent in this situation where the population is the most vulnerable
Focus on the understanding of at least 8-10 ethical issues witnessed by the nurses in the clinical field
To emphasize on the use of literary sources for the identification of the most common ethical issues encountered

Content and Analysis

The key issue that I have chosen for the study are the kind of ethical dilemmas that are being witnessed by majority of the nurses while doing their work in the clinical practice. Also, there is a significant amount of possibility that they might be able to understand the possible consequences that are being inflicted as a result of the ethical and unethical issues prevailing in an organisation. Some of the major ethical issues that are being countered by the nurses comprise of treatment refusal, lack of proper resources, a serious range of disagreement with the care givers, treating the patients as per the supervision of the doctor (even in situations when it is either unethical or illegal), making treatment decisions that are futile and many others (Kangasniemi, Pakkanen amp Korhonen, 2015). The understanding of this issue is one of the essential aspects that is associated with my study to make sure that I get the understand the significance of dealing with these issues on a daily basis. I have to make sure that adequate amount of attention has been paid in gaining adequate amount of knowledge on the proper ethical issues that are being witnessed by majority of the nurses, while continuing their daily activities.
The application of ethical issue has been identified as one of the major concerns in nursing practice. A nurse encounters numerous amount of ethical issues in their daily practice in the most regular manner, thus, leading up to the idea that it eventually influences their practices to a significant level. Also, it is evident to consider that appropriate strategies are to be undertaken by the clinic and by the nurses as well, to make sure that the situation of ethical dilemmas can be avoided most of the time. According to Jeong (2018), the recognition of the ethical issues mainly arises from social, cultural and organisational behaviour. Also, it has been evidently addressed that the intensity at which the nurses experience these kind of ethical issues or other problematic situation in the organisation, it has a maximum amount of tendency to influence the behaviour of the individual. This literature review is highly pertained towards the idea of identifying and assessing at least 8 ethical issues, that are being encountered by the nurses on a regular basis.

Ethical Issue 1: Unidentified Medical Errors
According to Yung et al., (2016), it has been identified as one of the common ethical dilemmas that is being witnessed by majority of the nurses. It has been evidently stated that a considerable amount of population dies of medical errors each year, leading to the idea that nurses must be able to conduct their practices in an appropriate and ethical manner. One of the key priorities is to make sure that the human and financial cost of medical costs have been properly reduced. Also, it is of primal importance that the nurses are being open about the errors that have been caused due to their mistake and must have the capability to endure the circumstances as well. Most of the time, it has occurred that the medical errors have never been disclosed to the patients, thus, the nurses and the doctors must be able to undertake adequate amount of responsibility to make sure that the situation has been properly dealt with.

Ethical Issue 2: End of Life
There is a constant amount of people who fall sick on a daily basis. It is mainly the aged population who keep on falling sick every day, and it is the responsibility of the nurses to take proper care of them when the doctor is not available nearer. There are various instances when the nurses have to deal with the kind of circumstances, where the patient gets fed up with their ill-fated lives and wish to kill themselves (Bollig, Gjengedal amp Rosland, 2016). There are numerous amount of nursing homes and other medical institutions who continue to approve of this situation, thus leading to the idea that the people do not deserve to live. The nurses are left with no other option but to deal with a situation as such.

Ethical Issue 3: Maintaining the Privacy of a Patient
According to Papastavrou, Efstathiou amp Andreou (2016), it is the responsibility of both the doctors and the nurses to make sure that the evident details of the patients health condition has been properly protected. It is also essential to make sure that this range of confidentiality is never breached. Even when the case of the patient is to be studied for medical research, it is of primal importance that the consent of the family or that of the patient has been undertaken to continue. However, there are certain situations when the patient does not approve of passing or sharing the information with the family members, in the case of a serious disease. However, it is extremely essential for the nurse or the doctor to inform the family about the health condition of the patient. For instance, if the patient has been diagnosed with Huntingdons Disease, the doctors would have to undertake the responsibility to talk to the close relatives or the family members of the individual. It is because the disease is a serious genetic condition that is often passed down to the children.

Ethical Issue 4: Proper Allocation of Resources
According to Rooddehghan, Yekta amp Nasrabadi (2018), the health care budget initiated by the care homes or the government is one of the key essentials, that has the tendency to influence the behaviour of a care provider. Even, in the case of nurses or the doctors, if they are not being properly paid then they would barely pay any attention to the situation that is being precariously accessible and has been bothering them for a significant amount of time. It is also essential to consider that even though the health care swallows up more funds than any other sector, it is often treated as one of those particular situations where it eventually depends on the kind of diseases that receives the maximum amount of funding. Eventually it has been identified that the chronic diseases receive more funding that the acute ones, making it evident that situations such as brain haemorrhages are being paid less amount of attention by the authorities.

Ethical Issue 5: The Use of Artificial Intelligence
According to Westrick, (2016), the use of extensive amount of artificial intelligence has made sure that the medical field has been completely infiltrated. Also, it is mandatory to note that it is highly compulsory for every sector to cope with the technological advancements that prevails in their way. The use of AI has caused maximum amount of advantages for both the patients and the care providers, but, at the same time they have also made sure that adequate amount of attention has been paid in understanding the essential pattern that is being followed or the practicality that must be endured, but it also poses a substantial amount of legal and ethical issues for the future essence of the field. There is a significant amount of possibility that the AIs ability to gain a self-understanding might be too complex for the patient or the doctors and the nurses to understand. In addition, a theory has also been presented towards the idea that what if the algorithm of AI contains the possibility of causing discrimination and giving birth to judgemental and biased thoughts. This eventually enhances the opportunity and level of risks witnessed among the people.

Ethical Issue 6: Extent of Incompetence among Fellow Members
According to Clements et al., (2016), one of the biggest ethical dilemma that has been witnessed by the nurses over a period of time is the extent of incompetence among their fellow workers and the lack of mutual trust and respect while conducting an essential activity. There is a possibility that the nurses often struggle with the idea of being silent or raising their voice against the unethical happenings of the organisation. It is also essential to note that they must be able to report the behaviour of the patient if they are not being cooperative and at the same time report the behaviour of the fellow nurses or clinician as well to make sure that enough attention has been paid in the care of the patient and the individuals abide the code of conduct initiated by the government or the care homes. In most of the situations, it has been identified that the people do not pay attention the ongoing ethical obligations and just continue doing and avoiding the situation. As stated by Clements et al., (2016), here most of the time the situations of fidelity and non-maleficence is being considered for taking care of both the sides of patient and staff.

Ethical Issue 7: Informed Consent or Parental Consent
According to Harron et al., (2015), not providing adequate and complete information on the diagnosis of the individual who has been subjected to a serious disease is one of the biggest ethical concern that could be identified. There have been instances where the guardians or the key personnel of the patient are not being viably detailed about the situation of the patient, that eventually leads to traumatic instances. Also, there is a possibility that it might pose adequate amount of difficulty for the people and they might be subjected to inevitable situation that would eventually harm their health condition and prevent the medical caregivers in providing the kind of care he/she actually needs. Also, there are certain situations when the nurses are being asked to decipher the details that have been prescribed by the doctor, and the nurse falls in a dilemma that whether or not to actually convey the facts that has been presented by the doctor and blurt out the truth or motivate the patient long enough, only to share the secrets with the family members. Thus, most of the time the nurses end up suggesting a substantial amount of interdisciplinary terms that must be developed by the care homes.

Ethical Issue 8: Justice, Distress and Work Environment
According to Haghighinezhad et al., (2019), a nurse can be subjected to substantial amount of ethical issues, some even leading to the point where it questions their morality and convinces them of undertaking a drastic decision that would cause them comfort and allow them to serve the patient in a much better and proliferated manner. It can be evidently stated that an individual is being subjected to situations that often questions their sense of social justice, and ensures that they are able to undertake viable measures that would enhance the amount of convenience that is required and evitable in their daily operations. Also, it is of primal importance that the nurses are able to idea of interpersonal conflicts and make sure that an adequate amount of attention has been paid in understanding the vital consequences of not maintaining a proper teamwork. The nurses also a play a key role in ensuring the idea that they are able to understand the role of social justice and avoid the idea of capital punishments under any circumstances. The nurses should also be able to avoid the idea of moral distress and avoid instances as such to ensure that they are able to serve the people in the most appropriate way possible.


From the findings collected above, it can be evidently stated that a nurse is subjected to numerous amount of ethical dilemmas in their day to day working atonement. It is essential to make sure that they are able to avoid such dilemmas and showcase the ability to undertake viable measures to avoid situations as such prominently. Also, it is necessary to make sure that the people have substantial amount of knowledge on the kind of situation prevailing in their work homes and the kind of relationships that is being maintained among the workers to generate viable results (Truog et al., 2015). The project precisely conveyed the idea of focusing on one issue and the review consisted the idea of considering the ethical field in nursing and make sure that substantial amount of information has been generated on the kind of ethical issues that are being endured by the nurses, doctors and the patients as well. Thus, it was vital to make sure that substantial amount of knowledge has been gained on at least eight ethical issues that are being encountered by the nurses most of the time.
The ethical issues covered from 1-4, dealt with the idea of privacy issues, medical errors, end of life and the proper resource allocation aspect. It can be concluded that the nurses would have the consider the approval of the patient or their guardian to make sure that enough attention has been paid in the protecting their medical history and the current disease details. Also, it is essential to consider that the governmental attention towards the healthcare sector and the people employed under have a considerable amount of association with the kind of attention that is being paid for the project (Sokol, 2018). Also, it is evident to identify that the amount of job satisfaction they receive completely inclines with their idea of providing proper care to the patients and make sure that they are able to achieve the designated targets that have been presented by the care home. It can also be stated that the use of these issues and identifying their solution is extremely vital to my practice to understand the kind of attention and reasoning skills that are being required to continue my work and practices without causing any kind of ethical concern. Thus, it can be implied that the use of adequate amount of knowledge would eventually allow me to dodge the ethical conditions and make sure that the health care providers can work in a proliferated manner.
The ethical issues covered from 5-8 led to the understanding of the situations such as the use of artificial intelligence, maintaining a certain level of competency with fellow co-workers, knowing about the parental or any kind of guardian consent for whatever decision has been undertaken for the patient and understanding the essentials of justice, distress and work environment. The application of strategies that lead to a complete ethical work environment should always be considered as one of the key priorities of the nurse. It allows him/her to understand the situation properly and makes sure that adequate amount of attention has been paid in making the situation much better for the individuals (Wood, 2018). Thus, it can be implied that it completely aligns with the idea of maintaining a certain level of competency with the fellow workers. The use of artificial intelligence might often lead to certain amount of complicated situations as it would enhance the idea of gaining adequate amount of prominence to make sure that there is avoidance of any kind of biasness and that appropriate results have been generated from the entire situation. Thus, it can be evidently stated that a nurse must be capable of taking care of the work environment and of the patients as well.


The discussion provided above led to the essential understanding of varied range of concerns that have been associated with the idea of proper atonement of conducting the nursing practices. Also, it can be evidently stated that an individual must be capable of understanding the adequate amount of understanding and competence that is required to deal with situations like this. The discussion primarily focused on the ethical dilemmas that are being encountered by a nurse or a professional medical care giver on a daily basis to make sure that enough attention has been paid in gaining a vital understanding of the ethical issues and identifying appropriate solutions for them. A complete range of eight ethical issues were covered that are being countered by the nurses and the doctors on a daily basis to make sure that enough attention has been paid in identifying the solutions and treating the patients properly. Eventually, the range of confidentiality issues, the maintenance of key competencies with the fellow workers and the use of the technological measures are the key ethical dilemmas that must be dealt with effectively.

PowerPoint Presentation(Refer to PPT)


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Clements, A. J., Kinman, G., Leggetter, S., Teoh, K., amp Guppy, A. (2016). Exploring commitment, professional identity, and support for student nurses.Nurse Education in Practice,16(1), 20-26.
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