Research Paper Help on Dealing with Ethical Dilemma

Dealing with Ethical Dilemma

An eighty-year-old woman with liver cancer lies in her hospital bed. Her family and two health providers are discussing merits and demerits of stopping the patient’s treatment. They have to decide whether to withdraw treatment from terminally ill patient or continue treating her. The family requires them to save the life of the patient, but they prefer withdrawing treatment to prevent suffering.

Ethical position related to the problem includes first maleficence second non-maleficence third autonomy, and finally justice. Firstly, maleficence enables continuing treatment of the patient to the very end. Secondly, non-maleficence is the use of oneself as a therapeutic agent for cooperating and identify with the patients and their family. Thirdly, Autonomy gives health providers chance to do what they think best. Finally, justice, which is the moral correctness, based on ethics enables health providers to protect welfare of careers (Raines, 2010).

Ethical values listed above may relieve patients and their family and should be accepted by parties in conflict. The following factors may relate to the situation facing the family and health providers: prolonged suffering of the patient, and imminent loss of the loved one.
The following alternatives offer solution for the problem; Beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice.
            Benevolence principle may save lives at the same time encourage lengthy suffering. It associated with a high chance of death. Non-maleficence principle provides assurance to the family and alleviates fear. Sometimes it may promote prolonged pain. The law of justice enables career to have enough time to pursue his career and interact with friends. Principle of autonomy eliminates extended suffering; promote the self-worth death (Pinch, 2012).

Following their impact on the life of the family, beneficence and autonomy can e accepted. The following are the outcomes of pursuing the principle of beneficence; prolonged suffering of the patient is felt by the family, increase medical cost. Principle of sovereignty has the following impacts; cost of medication reduce, patient pass on in dignity, but family may experience short-term emotional torture. Acceptance alternative are autonomy and beneficence respectively. Physicians stop treating the patient and then calmative care is administered immediately. Finally, the patient dies peacefully.


Pinch, W. J. (2012). Ethical dilemmas in nursing: the role of the nurse and perceptions of autonomy. The Journal of nursing education, 24(9), 372-376.

Raines, M. L. (2010). Ethical decision making in nurses: relationships among moral reasoning, coping style, and ethics stress. JONA’S healthcare law, ethics and regulation, 2(1), 29-hyhen.