Running head: ANALYSIS OF ETHICAL DILEMMA FROM CURRENT EVENTS Analysis of Ethical Dilemma from Current Events Lilly Fernandus Grand Canyon University Ethical Decision Making in Health Care NRS 437 V July 16, 2011 Analysis of Ethical Dilemma from Current Events Nowadays, ethical dilemmas are an integral part of the health care system. It takes place when there are different opinions on moral claims. We get to a conflict when there is good evidence to indicate that a certain act is morally wrong or right but neither the evidence is definite (Beauchamp and Childress 1994).
Health care settings have ethical dilemmas arise at any time due to different opinions. The article, “Ethical dilemma due to man’s kidney transplant”, which was published in Shanghai daily on March 17, 2011(China. org. cn) is an example of an ethical dilemma situation. The incident narrated was at a hospital in China. A 35 year old man is diagnosed with kidney failure due to uremia. In his family, the patient is the main earning member in the family. It consists of an old father and a mother who has cancer and three other brothers.
Thus he had to give up his job for the treatment of his kidney problem. At that point, the patient is in a desperate need of a kidney transplant. The published news states that “the father is too old, mother is sick and two brothers are married and has family” and that none of them can donate their kidney to their son. The family decided to use the last brothers kidney as he is mentally challenged and can be a donor for his elder brother. The younger brother cannot make decisions for himself and his family members decide to consent for kidney donation.
The surgeon, in charge of the kidney transplant, believes that there are ethical concerns because of the donor’s disability. The ethical dilemma here is whether to allow the mentally disabled man to be a donor for his elder brother or not. Analyzing the scenario according to Decision making Model Identifying the problem: The identified problem is the donor’s disability. Since the mentally challenged donor’s family wants him to donate the kidney for his brother, the surgeon is worried about the moral and ethical concerns.
He is requesting approval from provincial health department for kidney transplant. Values and Ethical positions: The theory of utilitarianism is brought about in this situation. Utilitarianism explains that “the action is judged as good or bad in relation to consequences, outcome or end result. And it again tells the right action is that which has greatest utility or usefulness and no action is in good itself or bad” (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2008). The outcome for the action of donating a kidney is good health to the patient and the donor has no harm done to him either.
Good health, justice, and preventing harm to patient and family is the author’s morals. The principle of beneficence is used in the situation above where we should avoid harm to patients. Alternatives to resolve the dilemma: The first alternative for this situation is to get a consent letter signed from the disabled brother. After this, one can proceed with the kidney transplant. The second option would be to find a different willing donor who will be competent to make his own decisions.
Another alternative would be to get the permission from the provincial heath department after which they can use the disabled younger brother as a donor. The first alternative is not consistent as the surgeon refused surgery of the patient with out the appropriate permission from government. A different suitable donor was not found. The third option, which is also the author’s personal view, is consistent as the younger brother would be able to help out his elder brother in order to regain his health. Eventually, the patient can go back to work and earn money for the entire family.
At the same time, donating one of his kidneys is not going to put the donor in any danger if his other kidney is working properly. Outcome of acceptable alternatives: Since the surgeon refused to precede surgery, the first alternative is not consistent. As they could not find a matching donor, the second option is also not consistent. There are many effects that the elder brother may face if not given a kidney transplant. His condition can deteriorate and can affect the whole body systems like respiratory, nervous systems, cardiac and even death eventually.
There might be the addition of more stress and tension if an ideal donor is not found. The third option is an optimistic one if provincial health department give permission for the surgery to move forward. Through it, the disabled man can donate a kidney for his elder brother. After the transplant is successful, the patient can go back to his normal life where he takes care of his family. The outcome will be a positive one for the donor as well. To avoid any complication, the surgeon must be sure that both the kidneys of the donor are in good condition.
Prioritize acceptable alternative: Finding an ideal donor, who can make one’s own decisions, is the best option. Another acceptable idea will be to apply for permission to donate a kidney to the provincial health authority in China. Plan of action: After finding an ideal donor, appropriate tests should be run before the transplant. In order to find a perfect donor, advertisements should be given in national news channels, news papers, internet, local community, television, hospitals,schools and churches.
Immediate family member is the best choice for transplant. At this point, if another donor is not found, the final step will be to contact the health office and explain the situation. They might be able to provide a legal document stating that, he and his parents will take care of his younger brother after surgery. A family meeting should be arranged with the officer in charge with the all the documents and the surgeon’s thoughts. Implement Plan: Hopefully, the health officer, after reviewing all the documents and opinions, gives permission for the surgery.
At last, the younger brother will be allowed to donate his kidney in a successful transplant for his elder brother. Evaluate the action: The effectiveness of surgery should be evaluated thoroughly in both donor and recipient. The kidney donor, who is the younger and mentally disabled child, should be checked on to see if he is safe and healthy after surgery. The last step in evaluation would be to check up on the family and finding out how they are coping physically, socially, spiritually and psychologically effectively with the two brothers.
The author believes that the decisions taken were ethical and apt for the situation. This is because the younger brother can save an entire family by partaking in a surgery which is harmless to himself. Ethics is concerned with what kind of moral values a person have compared to values which are an inner judgment that determines how a person behaves. Everyone has different morals and values. Dealing with ethical dilemmas, nurses need to stay on to certain ethical principles when caring for patients and their families.
The health care professionals should practice good ethical decision making model and possess values such as truth, respect, justice, confidentiality, autonomy, and justice to deal ethical dilemma situation successfully (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2008). References Beauchamp, T. l & Childress, J. F (1994) principles of biomedical ethics (4th ed) New York Oxford University press. Burkhardt, M. A. & Nathaniel, A. K. (2008). Ethics and issues in contemporary nursing (3rd ed. ). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar. http://www. china. org. cn/china/2011-03/17/content_22160947. htm, Retrieved on April 16, 2011 Ethical dilemma due to man’s kidney transplant