Essay Sample on Ethical Case Analysis Paper

Published: 2023-10-27
Essay Sample on Ethical Case Analysis Paper
Essay type:  Analytical essays
Categories:  Nursing HIV Ethical dilemma
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 977 words
9 min read

The case is about Lisa, a fifteen-year-old who visits Kennedy, who is a new advanced registered nurse practitioner for a well-child examination. Lisa explained her health condition to Kennedy and that she was all right, and was on vitamins and no other medicine. Lisa says she is a virgin and not sexually active, but she is on birth control pills as they were talking about having sex with her boyfriend. Kennedy later finds out that Lisa has congenital HIV from her parents and that they never told her, as they give her medications as vitamins. Kennedy feels that Lisa deserves to know her HIV status, but her parents think otherwise. However, Lisa's parents do not know that Lisa is planning to have sex despite her condition. The purpose of the paper is to show the ethical principles involved in the case under study.

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Justice-based ethics is the first principle applicable to the case. It refers to the client's right to receive transparent services (Chenneville, 2017). However, in this situation, Lisa and her parents are both clients. Lisa needs to know about her condition explicitly as the denial of the information means that she is not getting all the services and that she does not participate fully. If she gets news about her HIV status, it can give her the room to connect with similar peers and to receive professional counseling. If the information is not given to her, it becomes a case of denial of service. Kennedy's priority should be to establish Lisa's independence at an early age so that she can participate in her healthcare plan (Aderomilehin et al., 2016). However, she cannot participate if she does not light of her HIV status, and she cannot partner with her family to continue with her healthcare plan.


Autonomy refers to the freedom of an individual to experience minimum suffering (Chenneville, 2017). If Lisa gets to know her HIV status, she can have the freedom to choose different medical options. Therefore letting Lisa know about her medical condition gives her less suffering than telling her later in her life. It can aid in reducing the anxiety of not knowing about her status as it is common for one to fantasize about the illness if they are not aware of their condition (Woollett et al., 2017). Giving Lisa the information about her status is crucial to prevent the anxiety that she could have later in life or when she goes for a test.


Non-maleficence refers to the trait of honesty and having good intentions towards the health and mental well-being of an individual (Chenneville, 2017). It means that concealing the information of Lisa's HIV status shows that Kennedy and her parents are not honest. Disclosing the information is a win-win situation as it helps the medical professionals to help Lisa with her condition and would be beneficial to her as she is told early in life than later which can have more damages than good. It will enable Kennedy and another professional handling Lisa to be open with each other when discussing her medical condition. It would not necessarily benefit Lisa's parents, but as per the analysis, it helps the majority of the three. Kennedy also has an obligation towards Lisa as she is responsible for her health at this time, especially as she knows about Lisa's condition and the advantages of telling her early (Woollett et al., 2017). Lisa is bound to suffer if she does not get to know about her health and her parents take a minimum hit.


Beneficence refers to the principle that one should always do well to others and avoid causing them any form of harm (Chenneville, 2017). It brings up topics on objectivism and altruism. Altruism is treating others the way one would want to be treated back. Concealing the information from Lisa can lead to her transmitting the infection to others. Lisa mentions that together with her boyfriend they are virgins, and she does not mind not using a condom. It is a massive risk to the health of her boyfriend and other people; therefore, she must know her status before it is too late. If Lisa gets to know about her condition, she can put in measures to avoid transmitting the disease to other people. Kennedy feels that she would want to know of her situation if she was Lisa. Lisa's parents are reluctant to disclose the information, and they should get informed of the benefits of letting her know unless they suffer from cognitive decline because of old age or a mental health disorder (Woollett et al., 2017).

Role of Nursing

Nursing plays a considerable role in the case as Kennedy, the nurse in the case is aware of Lisa's HIV status. Kennedy should support any decision to disclose the information to Lisa either immediately or later (Aderomilehin et al., 2016). Disclosing such information is a stressful event for all the three parties involved. However, the nurse is well-placed to handle the situation as it is part of their professional obligation. The nurse should ensure that disclosure is a process to ensure that there is minimum harm to Lisa. They should also let Lisa's parents know why they should disclose the information.


Aderomilehin, O., Hanciles-Amu, A., & Ozoya, O. O. (2016). Perspectives and practice of HIV disclosure to children and adolescents by healthcare providers and caregivers in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review. Frontiers in Public Health, 4.

Chenneville, T. (2017). Pediatric/Adolescent HIV: Legal and ethical issues. HIV/AIDS in Rural Communities, 73-88.

Woollett, N., Peter, J., Cluver, L., & Brahmbhatt, H. (2017). Enrolling HIV-positive adolescents in mental health research: A case study reflecting on legal and ethical complexities. South African Medical Journal, 107(8), 679.

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