Free Report Example on Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare: Challenges and Solutions

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1644 Words
Date:  2023-10-14


Ethical dilemma refers to experiences of emotional strains resulting from incidents that require one to make decisions by the interplay of concepts coming from within and outside a person (Vryonides et al. 2015). Today, healthcare has become more complex practice; the inability to understand the clinical process or interventional terms and concepts has become more challenging. There are several guidelines provided in healthcare that aim to assure excellent communication between patients and medical practitioners so that patients and other third parties can understand their forms of consent, medical information, and patient-care instructions (Vryonides et al. 2015). Considerations of ethical concerns in decision-making are crucial; practitioners must be able to make informed decisions at the same time; ethical concerns and policies must be at stake. This paper analyses the situation of dilemma in the case study and discusses ethical dimensions and dilemma that is reflected in the case. It also describes the role of legal and ethical concerns in decision making in the healthcare setting.

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Dimensions of Ethical Dilemma

There are four dimensions, and they are neither independent of each other nor sequential; they interplay dynamically. Ethical dilemmas are multi-dimensional elements with different dimensions that interact. The dimensions explain healthcare practitioners experience the concepts of an ethical dilemma. These are:

Tension Dimension

The tension dimension describes the concept of an ethical dilemma as tension that is triggered by values, legal, moral and cultural tensions. It identifies the emergence of elements that trigger inner anxiety and ethical dilemma that features am ethical dilemma situation. In this dimension, the ethical dilemma originates from locations where behaviors are contrary to the expected norms or standards. Inner tensions, on the other hand, are a result of the interplay of physical stress, cognition, and emotions (Goetghebeur & Wagner, 2017). The concept of norms is what defines ethics, norms provide the basic guidelines on how we should act, and without them, and we would cause social chaos. Actions or behaviors outside norms are considered deviant.

Ethical and institutional standards also trigger tension; morals and values determine ethical actions. Therefore one must apply ethical principles to carry out their duties and as a result of unusual situations, and this causes an ethical dilemma. Legal standards and emotional imbalance contribute to tension hence Ethical Dilemma.

Values Dimension

Values dimension explains the concept of ethical dilemma from the perspectives of the indispensable role of values. The riot caused by the dilemma is valued and not the incident. It suggests that deeper issues are changing ethics-based incidences into ethical dilemmas (Vryonides et al. 2015). The dimension concludes that an ethical dilemma is essentially an issue of values involving a close link between actions and values. These values are the desirable conceptions that motivate groups, institutions, societies, or an individual to make decisions to achieve a specific condition. Guiding values such as organizational, personal, and universal values operate to determine ethical practice.

The Choice Dimension

The choice dimension describes the concept of an ethical dilemma as an essential function of the decision-making process. When ethical dilemmas are in concern of clinicians, they will present a scenario of decision making. How individuals approach the dilemma is a definition of their ethical position, which consists of individual engagement in making choices. Thus, this process reflects on professional and personal roles. Fundamentally, an ethical dilemma is based on the decision-making process, when leaders are faced with ethical dilemmas, they are faced with decision-making challenges. In healthcare, healthcare practitioners act as leaders, regardless of their ethical dilemmas over patient-care, they must deliver services as expected. It is essential for them not only to be able to handle tensions but make informed decisions.

The Context Dimension

The context dimension explains the concept of an ethical dilemma for a conceptualized idea of leaders. Consistent reference to the setting or the context is supported by the ethics of justice, care, and the formative role of healthcare practitioners. The categories formative part of healthcare and ethics of concern are the primary perspectives used to address ethical dilemmas; thus, they present a contextualized view of ethical dilemmas as well as how it is discussed in the healthcare setting (Barlow, Hargreaves & Gillibrand, 2018). Ethics of justice envision the process of decision making to be systematic, logical, and rational approach was making choices distance itself from the primary issue. The dimension explains that ethical dilemma influences how healthcare practitioners can approach a resolution.

Potential Organizational Policies to Consider

There are various organizational policies to consider when dealing with ethical Dilemmas. Healthcare organization serves as a principle institution to consider when handling ethical dilemmas; organizational policies, therefore, help a critical role in ensuring that all guidelines are followed to meet patient care. The organizational policies to consider includes:

Beneficence Policy

Beneficence policy states that clinicians must take all the necessary actions to benefit the patient in all situations. The policy dictates that all the procedures and methods of treatments recommended for the patient must be with interest in doing well for the client. To meet the policy requirement, health care practitioners must be able to develop a high level of knowledge and skills. The best and most current medical practice should be considered.

Policy of Justice

The principle of justice states that there must be an element of fairness when making decisions involving medical practices. The policy requires practitioners to use the applicable legislation and laws to make decisions regarding patient care. Given that health is an essential factor to consider normative elements must be maintained.

Competency Based Policy

In a healthcare setting, ethical dilemmas commonly stem from patient-care incidences and legal or organizational policies. These incidences range from simple to complex situations such as in the case study, regardless of ethical dilemmas, medical practitioners are expected to respond to handle any medical condition concerning patients adequately. Poorly responding to acute health conditions does not only cause financial and management costs to an organization but contributes to irredeemable and salient costs, including damaging an organization's image and losing trust and faith in healthcare services (Barlow, Hargreaves & Gillibrand, 2018). Therefore competency-based policy can help to understand the situation and consider excellence in service delivery regardless of Ethical Dilemma.

Analysis of the Situation

The DNR tattoo presents an ethical dilemma and critical decision-making process. It seemed that the tattoo conveyed his last wishes considering that he underlined the word Not and the signature. These words left healthcare practitioners grappling with countless legal and ethical questions to determine whether the tattoo was an accurate representation of what he wanted, or should the team honor it. The ethical concerns overwhelmed professional princes of the doctors; as a result, the failure to carry out the operation.

The deontology theory of ethics can best be applied in this situation to help save lives. The theory states that people should consider roles and obligations when faced with crucial decision making where ethics play a role. In respect to this situation, the doctors should follow their obligations by upholding their duties, which, according to deontology theory, is considered ethically right. The patient was unconsciously making it hard to determine if his wish was related to the tattoo, at the same time, it is complex to conclude if the patient was of sound mind when he made the tattoo. Therefore deontological theory would play a critical role in solving ethical Dilemmas and safe patient's life. Even though there is a possibility of negative consequences or disagreements, the dilemma can be resolved effectively.

Importance of Reasoning in Decision Making Process

Decision making is a critical process; the impacts of the decisions made would affect the decision-makers and the subjects; therefore, it is an important reason when making decisions. The reasoning is one of the main elements considered in decision making; it is argued that it supports decision making and the ability to achieve the goals. Reasoning helps to ensure that the decisions made are fair and beneficial for the subjects. In HealthCare, it is crucial to consider making decisions on patient-centered perspectives. It is, therefore, significant to consider reasoning from that perspective when making decisions that affect patients. Reasoning skills help to recognize the impacts of our choices; it also works in reaching a specific resolution and avoid complications in the implementation of a particular strategy or medical intervention.

How Christian Worldview Would Informal Responsibilities Based On the Dilemma

In Christianity, different concepts of ethics define what is wrong and right. In the bible, ethical responsibilities are seen as the cornerstone of Christian culture that advocates for moral values (Plant 2016). Based on the dilemma, the Christian worldview would consider not honoring the DNR and carry out airway management to save a life. Christianity is unlike contemporary legal and ethical principles. The bible would require one to apply Christian faith in making decisions and do what is moral or ethical. A Christian worldview, therefore, incorporates faith in decision making and consider doing what is ethically right.


Ethical dilemmas are crucial situations that present two different options where none of them resolves the case based on ethical concerns. The situation involving a 72-year-old man is critical; the doctors are left deciding on what is ethically right to consider to help an unconscious patient. DNR presents an ethical dilemma that the doctors must resolve. Unfortunately, the patient dies without undergoing airway management or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It is, therefore, vital to consider the impacts of ethics and legal considerations in making critical decisions. In the Health Care setting, it essential to consider balancing ethical and legal considerations to avoid dilemmas in life and death situations.


Barlow, N. A., Hargreaves, J., & Gillibrand, W. P. (2018). Nurses' contributions to the resolution of ethical dilemmas in practice. Nursing Ethics, 25(2), 230-242.

Goetghebeur, M., & Wagner, M. (2017). An identifying value (s): a reflection on the ethical aspects of MCDA in healthcare decision-making. In Multi-criteria decision analysis to support healthcare decisions (pp. 29-46). Springer, Cham.

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