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NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 1 Applying Ethical Principles MS

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 1 Applying Ethical Principles MS

In clinical settings, ethical issues frequently occur, putting healthcare professionals and patients at a critical point where choice and decision-making become challenging. Four ethical standards were developed to assist medical practitioners in addressing the ethics of a scenario—autonomy, the principle that each individual has the right to make his or her own choice. Beneficence is devoted to the patient’s best interest. Non-maleficence acts on the part of healthcare professionals to safeguard their patients from harm. Lastly, justice promotes fairness and equality among each individual. These principles were devised as a framework to handle ethical dilemmas in the healthcare environment (Levitt, 2014). Although they do not always provide adequate solutions, they do assist healthcare workers in making the best clinical judgements and decisions possible under challenging situations.

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 1 Applying Ethical Principles MS

Overview of the Case Study

  The case study ‘to vaccinate, or not’  introduces a scenario of two parents, Jenna and Chris,  who choose not to vaccinate their 5-day-old child, Ana. Preferably, they decide to raise their daughter naturally, including exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, incorporating organic baby food, and not permitting her to be immunized. Their decision is based on researched information linking vaccines to autism, leading them to conclude that the risks outweigh the benefits of their daughter getting vaccinated. Ana’s pediatrician, Dr. Kerr, refutes this information by emphasizing that, while vaccines have been the subject of much debate, she strongly advises Ana to be fully vaccinated. Furthermore, she explains the resulting reduction in fatal infections and how, through vaccinations, the United States was able to eradicate some diseases, such as measles. She also explains how government databases, such as the Vaccination Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is funded by the CDC and FDA, keep data on vaccine safety up to date regularly. Additionally, Dr. Kerr discusses the importance of vaccinations, which protects children who are unable to receive vaccinations due to medical reasons. Despite her evidence-based explanation, the Smiths remain committed to their decision, presenting an ethical dilemma to the pediatrician.

Analysis of Ethical Issues in the Case Study

Dr. Kerr is confronted with an ethical issue when the Smiths refuse to vaccinate Ana, putting her health in jeopardy. As a healthcare provider, Dr. Kerr should be well-informed and confident about the overwhelming benefits and safety of immunizations in order to advocate for Ana (De St. Maurice & Edwards, 2016). When the pediatrician hears their reasons and thorough research obtained to make their decision, she feels compelled to support for her patient’s health by educating the parents. The position creates an ethical dilemma centered on the concepts of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence. Patients have the right to autonomy, which implies they have the ability to make decisions for themselves. However, in this scenario, Ana is a baby. Therefore, her parents are the ones who make the decisions for her. Beneficence comprises the doctor’s commitment to behave in the patient’s best interest and uphold numerous moral principles to avoid injury.  The term “non-maleficence” refers to a physician’s obligation to refrain from harming others. Undoubtedly, Dr. Kerr believes the best decision for Ana is to vaccinate her, as the benefits of vaccination much exceed the risks. 

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 1 Applying Ethical Principles MS

 Ethical Decision-Making Model to Analyze the Case Study

Moral awareness, moral judgment, and ethical behavior are the three components that make up this system. Moral awareness, which refers to identifying and acknowledging ethical considerations, is the most significant component. Moral understanding is affected by sensitivity to one’s values and morality. Dr. Kerr’s moral awareness is evident in this case when she admits she disagrees with Ana’s parents’ decision not to immunize her. Individual differences, cognitive biases, and business culture all have a role in moral judgment, which involves deciding between right and wrong. Dr. Kerr’s righteous judgment is demonstrated when she provides Ana’s parents with accurate and educated information to assist them in making an informed decision. Finally, ethical behavior involves taking the appropriate steps to rectify the issues. Dr. Kerr’s ethical behavior is supported in this situation by her recommendation to Ana’s parents that the child is vaccinated because it is in her best interest.  

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Effectiveness of Communication Approaches in the Case Study

Dr. Kerr pays close attention to Ana’s parents and maintains a non-judgmental attitude, which is crucial in the parties’ communication. She sensitively listens to their reasoning and understands their point of view. As a result, Dr.Kerr responds appropriately and provides valuable facts to encourage them to rethink their beliefs. She also establishes a level of trust with them, which is essential to delivering high-quality patient care. Furthermore, she maintains an open mind toward their decision, employing a nonjudgmental attitude that is important in allowing parents to share their thoughts and preferences without fear of being arbitrated.

  Dr.Kerr cannot vaccinate Ana without her parents’ permission. Therefore, she uses informative data to communicate facts about the effectiveness of immunization. She specifically addresses their fears that vaccines cause autism by pointing out no evidence linking immunization to the disease (Esernio-Jenssen & Offit, 2020). The doctor’s answer is based on research showing that thimerosal, a chemical formerly thought to cause autism, does not increase the incidence of the illness. Overall, Dr. Kerr respects the opinions and decisions of the parents.

Resolving the Ethical Dilemma by Applying Ethical Principles

In this case study, Dr. Kerr is confronted with ethical dilemmas of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence. Even though Ana is her patient, she is under the age of 18, and her parents must make the decisions about her health. The pediatrician demonstrates autonomy when she actively listens and does not pressure Anas’s parents to vaccinate her. Yet, she also exhibits beneficence by advocating for the patient’s health by recommending that she be immunized. Finally, she displays non-maleficence by informing Ana’s parents about the benefits of vaccination, recognizing that immunization is the healthiest decision for her.   It may be beneficial to provide Ana’s parents with additional resourceful data on the benefits of immunizations and information on the alleged link to autism, which has been debunked by numerous studies (Esernio-Jenssen & Offit, 2020). Using credible sources to gather information may change their minds about vaccines and motivate them to vaccinate Ana. In conclusion, ethical concepts are critical in assisting healthcare workers in making the best clinical judgements and decisions under challenging situations.  

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 1 Applying Ethical Principles MS


De St. Maurice, A., & Edwards, K. (2016). Vaccine Hesitancy in Children—A Call for Action. Children,  3 (2), 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/children3020007

Esernio-Jenssen, D., & Offit, P. (2020). Don’t hesitate–vaccinate! Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 13(3), 337-341. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40653-020-00324-y

Levitt, D. (2014). Ethical Decision-Making in a Caring Environment: The Four Principles and LEADS.  Healthcare Management Forum, 27(2), 105–107. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hcmf.2014.03.013

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