Free Essay Presenting Ethical Constructs of Ethics, Moral, or Legal Standards

Published: 2022-04-19
Free Essay Presenting Ethical Constructs of Ethics, Moral, or Legal Standards
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Ethical dilemma
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1055 words
9 min read

Taking a Stand

Ethics is a system of moral principles that guide's one's behaviors. It is the discipline that deals with what is right and wrong. As described by Doody & Nooman in 2016, ethics is also a principle that can be used in changing previous thoughts, actions, and decisions of people per Doody & Noonan (2016). Marquis & Huston (2015) state that it is an essential measure to protect society and guide an individual's actions regarding what is right and wrong in regards to self and society. To make ethical decisions appropriately, it is vital that one knows moral principles and frameworks, one must not exercise trial and error in the leadership while emphasizing models based on decision-making (Marquis & Huston, 2015). The primary objective of this paper is to introduce a conceptual framework of ethical constructs of ethics, moral, or legal standards. It also considers a dilemma in a work environment, analyzes the implications utilized, and review the leadership style identified by a self-assessment tool to determine if the leadership style acted as a barrier or facilitation during this dilemma.

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Conceptual Framework

Conceptual frameworks are guidelines that are used in assisting an individual in solving an ethical dilemma (Per Marquis & Houston, 2015). The instructions are beneficial to nurses in clarifying their values and beliefs when solving a moral problem. The most commonly used frameworks are intuitionism, rights-based reasoning, utilitarianism and duty-based reasoning. Nurses usually encounter multiple dilemmas in their career, thus making them make tough decisions at times. However, with the application of the intuitionism framework, nurses can view each problem individually. Alternatively, duty-based reasoning enables nurses to make decisions based on the actual duty to be performed. In contrast, rights-based reasoning enables nurses to make fair and impartial consideration of applications of two or more applicants. Utilitarianism is also pivotal in helping nurses to make decisions based on what provides the best offer for the majority.


Working in an emergency department that also houses a psychiatric facility I am facedwith multiple dilemmas, daily. However, one of the most rewarding days of my career resultedfrom such a dilemma. While working the night shift, we received a call from our regional command center stating that police cruiser was in route with a male patient. The regional command also offered that the patient was nonverbal with the officer and suggested that we have our security officers at the ambulance bay to assist in getting him into our facility. Well, no security was to be found, so myself and another female nurse went to the ambulance bay to meet this squad car when he arrived, we noticed that the patient was in handcuffs, clearly underage and with a mental disability, and still nude. After unloading the patient, we requested that he be released from the handcuffs, we cleaned him up due to multiple abrasions from being nude and then tased, and offered him food and clothing while we attempted to track down the family. This patient had never been to our facility. Shortly after, the officer who brought the patient in informed us that he had filed a mental hygiene on the patient for psychiatric services and that he was to be held in our facility, even though he had no information on this individual and the hygiene was filed under "John Doe".

A few hours later we received a call from a distraught family looking for their 16-year old son who had autism. That was our patient! We let them know that he was safe and what hadhappened, and that the officer had filed mental hygiene. The family then informed us that they had multiple systems in place to alert them if their son wakes up at night, they also informed us that he was taught to seek out a police officer for assistance. In the middle of the night we spoke with this patient's medical provider who informed us of his whole history, we spoke with the police department regarding the officer's behavior, and we spoke with the magistrate to get the mental hygiene order dropped. When the patient's family arrived, they were relieved to find their son safe, warm and fed, happily playing with tongue depressors and stickers (they were his favorite), and that they could take him home since the mental hygiene order was dropped.

So, the dilemma, in this case, was, do I follow the law and proceed with the mentalhygiene on a pediatric patient with a learning disability who happened to escape his home atnight despite multiple alarm systems in place? He was not attempting to harm himself oranyone else. He ran to the officer because that is what he had been taught to do; however, the officer failed him but was only trying to protect himself.

Leadership Style

I possess a democratic leadership style. I feel that being democratic gave me a greater insight into helping the patient. By believing in the family, we would adequately treat the patient and return him to his home environment. This scenario also inspired the officer to reconsider his actions in future proceedings. The style of leadership would automatically offer the best solution to the dilemma. I am naturally drawn to working with people, and I am highly gifted at helping others. However, the democratic leadership style is at times not active, mainly when the other party is not cooperative. I might at times fail to find a solution since the other persons might fail to cooperate.


Healthcare is writhed with constant challenges that require a useful conceptual framework to guide nurses in making a proper decision. In the patient's case, I would have proceeded to treat him since he had the court order. Although ethical dilemma is at times very challenging, being a democrat would enable me to understand a patient's situation and make a judgment based on the rules of the hospital.


Doody, O., & Noonan, M. (2016). Nursing research ethics, guidance, and application in practice. British Journal of Nursing, 25(14), 803-807. Retrieved from

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2015). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing:Theory and application (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

McClelland, M. (2015, March 6). Ethics: Harm in the emergency department - ethical drivers forchange. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2).

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