Ethics Game Simulation
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The ethics game simulation involved two case scenarios. The first case dealt with a conflict of core ethics in how to care properly for a teenage pregnant female whose parents desire to limit medical interventions for a prolonged labor. The young patient is a teenager whose labor is progressing slowly and her parents have stated they want no assistance done for her. This situation places both mom and unborn child at an increased risk for injury and possibly death. The second case involves affording the same rights to a domestic couple as a traditionally married couple. In this scenario, a male visitor is not allowed access to his gay partner or included in the decision making process of the patient’s health care. The conflict deals with denying access to the male visitor simply because his status of being the spouse of a gay male patient is not being acknowledged. This is discrimination and against the policy of the facility. The steps taken in each scenario was to identify first the ethical problems or issues at the center of each conflict. Each case involves clashes of ethics and before any resolution can be implemented, each ethical dilemma must be pinpointed.
The second step was to identify each of the primary stakeholders of each crisis. Stakeholders are the persons of interest in each case that would be directly affected by any solution chosen to end the situation. Responsibilities and duties for each stakeholder are considered followed by a review of which options are the best choice to resolve the crisis. The selection of the best decision was chosen based on the criteria of fulfilling the duties to all stakeholders in each case. Final choices were viewed using the results lens, relationship lens, and the reputation lens for comparison. The rights and responsibility lens was the largest influence on the decisions made to resolve each dilemma. In ethical conflicts, the rights, and responsibility lens is the deontological form of ethics and uses rationality when searching for ways to solve any given problem. “Deontological (from the Greek deon or “duty”) theories derive norms and rules from the duties human beings owe one another by virtue of commitments that are made and roles that are assumed” (Guido, 2010, p. 5). A priority is placed on fulfilling the commitments and obligations owed to individuals while maintaining their dignity and respect.
The rights and responsibility lens defines how to achieve a fair compromise without denying anyone’s privileges. Given the clash of ethics in each situation, it is crucial that the primary responsibility to all patients’ safety and wellbeing is at the center of any conclusion made when trying to end the conflict. The other lenses included in the process of making a decision were the results lens dealing with goals, the relationship lens involving fairness to all parties, and the reputation lens involving a personal definition of the nurse’s role. The medical profession today deals and faces a very litigious society than in previous decades. Nursing care and interventions carry the responsibility of placing the patient’s health and safety is priority. However when patients are placed in an incapacitated situation or unable to make legal decisions in regard to their medical care, ethical dilemmas often follow. Families do not always agree on the best course to follow when involving a loved one’s care.
The ethics game simulation created two scenarios that seemed difficult to resolve at first. Going through the process of isolating each problem, identifying the stakeholders, and weighing all options that would best satisfy those involved streamlines the conflicts to more manageable predicaments. The process allows the primary nurse to look at each problem individually and consider all options that fairly and equally meet the responsibility to the patient and his or her loved one. By doing each step of the process, the best solution is adapted to each conflict and all commitments are honored to the health facility and the patient. This reduces the risk of any individual believing discrimination has occurred and less likely to seek legal alternatives to solve the situation. When dealing with patients and families day to day, nurses must always consider this to ensure conflicts do not escalate and become a legal battle that could end possibly with a negative outcome for all parties.
Guido, G. W. (2010). Legal and ethical issues in nursing (5th ed.). Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.