Nondisclosure of patient’s diagnosis-asked by family: a nursing ethical dilemma.
Ethics has always played a part in professional and political debate about health care, during the past century ethics has achieved a new prominence in the public media world wide-through the treatment of health issues in magazines, in radio and television documentaries (Thompson et al. 2006, p. 2). These developments have meant that nurses has had to be better informed about ethics and ethical issues in their work so as to able to demonstrate competence in ethical decision-making and the ability to give a sound rational justification for decisions (Thompson et al. 2006, pp. 2-3). Ethical decision-making is not some kind of occult process, but is a type of problem-solving process which requires practice, skill and follows the guidelines (Thompson et al. 2006, pp. 264-65). Although ‘ANMC code of ethics for nurses in Australia-2008’ offer general guidelines for decision-making, more specific guidelines necessary in this case scenario to resolve the ethical dilemma encountered (Hawley 2007, pp. 48-49) by RN Sunitha Chandy. The following guidelines are discussed below to resolve this ethical dilemma, 1) Define the problem, 2) Get the facts, 3) Ethical review (autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice), 4) Consider the options, 5) Ethical conflicts, 6) Ethical decision, 7) Evaluation (Kerridge, Lowe & Stewart 2009, pp. 94-5).
1. Define problem:
Mrs. Xi has diagnosed with tuberculosis, but her daughters do not want to be told her regarding diagnosis. The question appeared to be whether it was ethically reasonable to inform her or not? The RN has an ethical dilemma. Is her responsibility to the patient or to the family of the patient?
However, any such dilemma proves Mrs. Xi is the patient not her family. Sunitha is the RN, not Mrs. Xi’s family. The particular patient is not discussed as mentally incapable in any way and has rights to the information...