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    Using the steps outlined in the decision-making models in your readings, select one ethical decision-making model and use the model to analyze the case provided.

    Case Scenario:

    A 6-year-old develops a high fever accompanied by violent vomiting and convulsions while at school. The child is rushed to a nearby hospital. The attending physician makes a diagnosis of meningitis and requests permission to initiate treatment from the parents. The child’s parents are divorced. The mother, who is not the biological parent of the child, has primary custody. She is a Christian Scientist who insists that no medical treatment be offered for religious reasons. The biological father, who resides in another state, is also contacted. He insists that treatment be given and seeks independent consultation from another physician.


    In a formal, written paper of 800-1,200 words, answer the following questions:

    What is the ethical dilemma here?
    Describe the decision-making model you selected from your readings.
    How would you resolve this dilemma using the model?
    Include, at the end of your paper, a 200-word dialog in which you explain your decision to the family. (Remember to use language that the family would understand).
    A minimum of three references must be used.

    Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.


Subject Ethics Pages 4 Style APA


Ethical Dilemma


            In the conduct of routine healthcare practices, it is important that patient consent is included in the practice. The fundamentals of a holistic approach to nursing justify the value of patient consent in the Medicare profession. Patients should have the consent to make decisions in accordance to their financial prospect and self-judgment as there are varying factors that may influence their choice. According to Fry (2008), it is crucial that in cases of emergency or serious health conditions that a patient is consulted before a healthcare plan can be put into practice. Considering the opinion of a parent or guardian in cases of childcare is one of the factors that are important. Children do not have the prerequisite to make decisions of their own when it comes to such matters. It is mostly due to the age factor as they are minors and cannot make decisions on their own. Therefore, it is imperative to apply ethical measures when dealing with such cases in health care profession.

            In the case study, a minor is presented to the child is a minor as he is six years old. It is, therefore, crucial that the parents make the decisions on his behalf. The child is found to have developed meningitis-like symptoms that include convulsions, vomiting, and other related signs. Therefore is a required that proper treatment and care be given so that the situation is controlled. The dilemma is complicated by factors such as parental concerns that are raised by both the father and the mother. The child’s mother is not the biological parent and is a staunch believer in religion. Being a Christian she insists that the child shouldn’t be treated using medical intervention because of religious beliefs. Her beliefs do not support the use of modern medicine in the treatment of diseases. The child’s father is not present at the scene but clearly expresses his concerns. He believes in modern medicine and also seeks consultation from another physician about his child’s medical condition. A look at the child’s condition demonstrates that a solution should be sought as soon as possible. Therefore, the ethical dilemma is about the adoption of healthcare practices when the views of parents differ. There is a dilemma as to whether religious belief should be allowed to hinder the delivery of care and treatment.  The health care plan should not only give relief to the young patient but also ensure that both the parents are satisfied with it.

            As a method of resolving the case presented it is best to consider the use of the evidence-based nursing practice. There are various considerations that need to be made for the purpose of effective decision making (Woods, 2005).For the purpose of effective decision making, the physician should take a consideration of the available resources regarding the available healthcare setting. There should also be an immediate discussion with other physicians and other physicians as to the appropriate measures to take. For this case, it is proper that the consent of the immediate parent is sought. However, the consent has presented a challenge as there is a belief in a religion that hinders treatment. Therefore is it is important to hold a discussion of with the parent in regards to the patient’s condition. Effective communication and conversation tools should be a top priority so that the parent understands the severity of the situation. The physician should make sure to explain his or her responsibility as pertaining to the care of the patient. He should also advocate for the benefit of medication and intervention to the parents. The mother should be counseled with the help of professionals in the health profession. It is necessary to use the necessary verbal and nonverbal forms of communication so that she understands the physician’s concern. Based on the agreement that is reached between the parents and the healthcare professionals proper care should be initiated.

            When the physician has obtained the relevant consent from the child’s mother, he or she should also consider the father’s opinion. It was noted that the father acted on advice from consultation with another physician. It is important that the opinion of the expert is followed to the later as long as it provides a valid method of treatment. It is also essential that the physician considers the legislative concerns of the medical management. The concern is for a proper diagnosis to take place and the right medical procedures to be used. The medical procedures include measures such as intravenous fluid administration and oxygen support in the case of emergencies (Vanlaere and Gastmans, 2007).


            Health and ethical dilemmas pose a challenge when it comes to the administration of proper healthcare.  Factors such as religion may play a role in shaping the outcome of an emergency and forms of treatment to be used. However, it is crucial that healthcare physicians effectively manage these situations and come up with the right solutions. The nursing approach used may determine the fate of the patient. At this instance communication becomes a crucial part of solving the ethical problem.



Fry, S. T. (2008). Ethics in nursing practice: a guide to ethical decision making. Nursing Ethics.

Woods, M. (2005). Nursing ethics education: Are we really delivering the good (s)?. Nursing Ethics, 12(1), 5-18.

Vanlaere, L., & Gastmans, C. (2007). Ethics in nursing education: learning to reflect on care practices. Nursing Ethics, 14(6), 758-766.


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