Essay Example. Nursing Case Study, Written Inquiry/Reflection

Published: 2023-11-14
Essay Example. Nursing Case Study, Written Inquiry/Reflection
Essay type:  Persuasive essays
Categories:  Justice Case study Ethical dilemma Nursing care
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1789 words
15 min read

Ethical practice in the health sector is paramount to ensuring patient safety, both physically, mentally, and healthwise. The medical ethical practice affects the patient and people related to the patient (Graham, 2017, p.168). The below-written reflection illustrates the ethical concepts in the medical practice, ethical-legal complexities, and implications of different course actions and effects of ethical practice towards relationships with others. Driscol's model influences the above aspects has influenced the above factors, which revolves around the stem questions what? So what? And now what? The case study for reference in this case study is Baby Ruth, a child facing heart and breathing disorders.

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Ethical Practice

The presentation of ethical practice nonmaleficence in the medical sector is evident. That ethical issue requires health professionals to provide a reliable standard of care that reduces harm risks. Risks in the medical sector are inevitable hence a double effect by remedial action. A practical example may be how to medically address cancer uterus in a pregnant woman (Lee, 2017, p.8). The lifesaving treatment considered is uterus removal, which will, in turn, kill the fetus. The act's nature determines the double effect, the professional's intention, and the proportionality between the good and bad effects. Nonmaleficence articulates a vital commitment by the health care professionals towards the development of the patient’s safety.

In the case study, of Baby Ruth, nonmaleficence is evident when the health professionals decide not to manage her heart condition completely. Health practitioners only conducted surgery to provide an adequate flow of blood to her lungs. Scheduling for the complete repair of Ruth's heart was for a later date. That is is so especially she was strong enough and had a stable condition to tolerate the stress of a more complicated operation (Makkizadeh et al., 2019, p.10). That implied that if Ruth was to receive a complete repair, she might suffer dire health disorders or even death. The decision not to manage Ruth's heart condition fully still exposed her to medical disorders. Her heart functioned inefficiently. In that context, professionals assessed both situations and derived to two conclusions both with healing effects.

Doctors employed the Driscoll reflection method that answered, "what" measures to manage Ruth's condition. It answered, "so what" are the effects involved and "now what" option should be employed I managing her condition (Shankar and Varadarajan, 2018, p.4). Doctors settled to decide that would not expose Ruth to more harm by using the Driscoll reflection model. That influenced the decision not to fully mage the disorder but just conduct surgery to ensure proper blood flow in the lungs.

The beneficence ethical principle argues that the health care practitioners' duty should be of benefit to the client, and therefore should develop measures removing harm from the patient. The duties are rational and vivid and therefore accepted as the vital medicine goals by the broad society (Siegler, 2019, p.22). A clear example, in emergency medicine, a patient involved in a gristly accident, health practitioners provide beneficent intervention by stemming bleeding, rectifying the broken or dressing the wounds. That results in reliable management of the health disorders developed in a patient. It also affirms both the patient and the third party of medical safety.

The beneficence ethical principle is vividly portrayed in the case study Baby Ruth by the nurses handling Ruth. Health professionals attended to Ruth for her health development benefit. In the case study, it is evident that health practitioners assumed different duties. Ruth is assigned a physician and a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon (Graham, 2017, p.168). The two professionals gave an estimation that she would not be fit for surgery for several months, but maybe in a year. When Ruth arrives at the Accident and emergency department, she is attended to by nurses. That justifies that health professionals have a duty o be of benefit the patient towards eradicating harm that patients might encounter.

Employment of the justice principle employed by nurses in the medical sector to ensure the patient's safety is a fair approach. That implies giving equal medical attention to society concerning the available workforce and resources in an institution. The practice of justice ethics in medicine answers the question of who has the right to medical attention (Lee 2017, p.8). Nurses have two patients, both suffering from cardiac arrest, a prominent government official, and a local mechanic. Medical practitioners will attend to both patients after a just allocation of the workforce and technical resources. Excising justice ethics in the health practice affirms patient safety regardless of social stature.

In the case study, the justice principle's depiction is through Ruth's medical attention by the professionals. Considerations were employed to determine the urgency and the type of medication to be administered in Ruth. (Makkizadeh et al., 2019, p.10). That led to the administration of urgent health care whenever Ruth arrived at the hospital. That was because of the nature of her disorder. Also, age, which makes her body not able to withstand the condition hence need for urgency.

The veracity principle in the medical sector obliges the professionals to always disclose accurate information by excising honesty. That obligation is not only extended to the other medical practitioners but also the patients and the third party involved. However, it is possible to violate the veracity principle on some occasions after making considerations (Shankar and Varadarajan, 2018, p.4). Effects caused by information given are a factor to consider hence being the factors influencing violation of veracity.

In the case study, Ruth faces a respiratory arrest due to an inexperienced nurse's medication errors. That condition is identified and managed by promptly giving Ruth a narcotic antagonist. Dr Koh had intentions to tellRuth’s parents the cause of the respiratory default but instead does not (Siegler, 2019, p.22). The Doctor telling her parents, the respiratory arrest cause may make them lose trust in the hospital and refrain from taking Ruth to that hospital. The next hospital was far from their home. Dr Kuh was disturbed that taking Ruth to the hospital would take time when Ruth had an episode. Delay while managing Ruth could cause irreversible brain disorder or even death.

Ethical-legal Complexities

Ethical-legal complexities arising in the medical sector include patient autonomy. That implies that the patient can make impartial decisions concerning their medical care. Nevertheless, patient autonomy gives room for the healthcare provider to educate the patient but not decide for the patient (Graham, 2017, p.168). That brings about complexity as some patients may make misinformed decisions towards their healthcare. Patients may abuse patient autonomy and using it as a threatening factor towards refusal of medical attention. In that scenario, health practitioners will violate nonmaleficence and beneficence.

In the case study, Ruth's physician and pediatric cardiovascular professionals educate her parents on their daughter's health state. That educative measure makes Sam and Maddi make an informed decision towards their daughter (Lee 2017, p.8). That leads to the postponement of the surgery to adequately correct Ruth's defects as she was not fit for complicated surgery. A surgical procedure w to only ensure adequate blood flow into the lungs was conducted.

Quantity of the given information to the doctors from the patient or a third party may lead to ethical-legal complexities. Health professionals rely on information relayed about the patient to diagnose the disorders the patient is suffering. Relaying of few details about the patient may lead to the wrong diagnosis (Makkizadeh et al., 2019, p.10). That will influence the medication prescription, and in such a scenario, wrong medication prescription will be the result. That influences the doctors to violate justice ethical principle due to the wrong medical care given.

In the case study, it is evident that Sam and Maddi had given the health professionals enough information about themselves and their daughter. Dr Koh knew even their home, which was why she confirmed that the next hospital was half an hour away from their home (Shankar and Varadarajan, 2018, p.4). That aspect of giving enough details also led to better management of Ruth’s crisis. It is also evident from the case study that Sam and Maddi had become very close to the health workers and depended on them for psychological and medical support.

Developing Ethical Awareness and Self-reflection in Relationships

Ethical awareness is the ability and the eagerness to identify moral situations, analyze them critically, evaluate them. Then alter one’s moral esteem and manage the effects of one’s attitude in others’ lives. Developing ethical awareness entails the development of behaviour and making decent performance a priority. That is due to the desire to develop a code of conduct acceptable in society, which leads to the establishment of healthy social relations (Siegler, 2019, p.22). In the case study, Sam and Maddi excise patience whenever the health practitioners were handling Ruth. That led to the establishment of a healthy social relationship between the nurses and the family.

Engagements and communication to individuals help in developing an ethical awareness. That leads to viewing other ideologies and perceptions of situations. Identification of others' views and therefore understanding one's implications on decisions opted. That helps in ethical decision-making towards changes in one’s moral esteem (Graham, 2017, p.168). For example, in the case study, neither Sam nor Maddi has finished high school because of their need to look after their daughter Ruth. Sam goes ahead to work from midnight to morning despite helping his father on their farm. That is so because Sam needs to fend for his family and take care of his daughter's medical condition. Maddi is obligated to remain awake because Ruth's care demands on her from day and night.

Accepting personal responsibility plays a vital role in developing ethical awareness. It will lead to healthy social and professional relations. That entails commitment towards the responsibilities assigned or assumed in a work setting or domestic setting. In the case study, Sam is committed to caring for his family. That is why he works in a store from midnight to morning and helps his father on their farm (Lee 2017, p.8). Maddi has the responsibility of taking looking after Ruth, and she does so day and night. At the hospital, the professionals must render health care. That is why every time Ruth arrives in the Accident and emergency department, they work very hard to manage her health disorder.


The case study includes nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice ethical issues. The ethical issues revolve around Driscol's reflection, which answers what? So what? And now what? Ethical-legal complexities evident in the health sector consist of patient autonomy and the quantity of the patient's information or the third party. As discussed in the nursing case study, developing ethical awareness entails developing a code, engagements, and communication and accepting social responsibility. The recommendation claims that an individual should obtain ethical issues towards the establishment of healthy relations.

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