NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

Applying Ethical Principles

     Healthcare workers face ethical dilemmas each day that they enter their healthcare settings. Healthcare workers must understand and stand firm in providing care based on these four main principles that have been set forth for them. These four principles are: autonomy- accepting one’s beliefs, nonmaleficence- do no harm to the ones we encounter and care for, Beneficence- acting and protecting the overall welfare of the people we encounter, and justice- treat all the patients we care for with fairness. When healthcare workers are faced with situations where their duty to protect and do no harm cross path with their personal beliefs then an ethical dilemma occurs. Healthcare workers are urged to use and adhere to these four ethical principles to guide them through their decision-making process. This can help separate the healthcare workers’ own beliefs and protectives and focus on the well-being of the patients they serve. With this being noted, healthcare providers must provide factual and accurate healthcare information so that patients can make an informed decision that is beneficial to their well-being.

Overview of Case Study

     Chris and Jenna Smith are the proud parents to a 5-day-old baby girl Ana who was born without complication. They had a good pregnancy and delivery and have decided to raise her as naturally as possible. This raising her naturally includes exclusive breastfeeding, making their own pureed baby foods using organic ingredients, and not allowing their newborn Ana to be vaccinated. Both parents are educated individuals and have done their research on vaccination. They inform their new pediatrician, Dr. Kerr, of their decision. They informed Dr. Kerr that they have done their research on vaccinations and that the risk outweighs the benefits. They further informed Dr. Kerr that they had recently reviewed a discussion on a mommy blog that highlighted a rise in autism relating to children getting vaccinated and what led them to their decision against vaccinating Ana. Dr. Kerr listened to the parents and acknowledged their concern over the recent controversy. Although Dr. Kerr acknowledges their concerns, she strongly recommended that Ana be fully vaccinated. She explained to the parents that vaccinations have saved the lives of many children worldwide and have been largely responsible for the decrease in infant mortality rate. She gave them examples of such decrease when she pointed out the decrease incidence of infection with Haemophilus influenza type B, has resulted from routinely immunization against the virus. She further explained that epidemics such as the outbreak of measles are usually associated with an individual who has not been vaccinated against the virus. Dr. Kerr went on and gave them credible sources where they can find updated data sources such as the federal government’s vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS). This system allows transparency for vaccine safety by encouraging the public and healthcare providers to report adverse events to vaccines and enables the federal government to monitor their safety. She told the parents that there have been no reports of any vaccines causing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Kerr then added that not only will vaccines protect their child but also children in the general population who has a weakened immune system and cannot be vaccinated. Dr. Kerr informed the parents that those children who are immunocompromise depend on the vaccinated to protect them against illnesses. Dr. Kerr concluded her conversation by informing the parents that some states will prohibit the student from attending if they are not vaccinated. Chris and Jenna Smith both confirm their understanding of the information but restate that they do not want Ana to get vaccinated.

NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

Analysis of Ethical Dilemma in the Case Study

Even though Dr. Kerr gave credible information to the parents of five-day-old Ana about the reasons to get vaccinated, the parents insisted that will not vaccinate their child. Dr. Kerr is now faced with the ethical dilemma of deciding if she wants to continue to care for Ana or terminate the relationship. According to Lam et al, 2016, Younger children in a region of Hong Kong allow for a barrier in the defense against those that are not vaccinated. The authors conclude that vaccinating young children is an effective strategy to reduce the burdens of preventable diseases. In fact, this country has facilitated priority groups for annual vaccines by targeted age groups to decrease its prevalence in spreading to older children, (Lam et al,.2016). Should Dr. Kerr continue the relationship she would then be putting other children, including immunocompromised children at risk.  

Using the Ethical Decision-Making Model to Analyze the Case Study

The ethical decision-making model includes three components. First is one’s moral awareness, recognizing there is an ethical dilemma. The second is moral judgment in deciding which is right or wrong. This component includes one’s differences and cognitive biases. Moral judgment is also driven by group or organizational pressures and the organization’s culture or way of doing things. Finally, ethical behavior is ultimately doing the right things. This ethical behavior may not be the same for everyone. In the case study, Dr. Kerr provided all the necessary information for the parents of Ana to make an informed decision. She realized that even after that they still insisted not to get the child vaccination. She was faced with an ethical dilemma. She now must make a moral judgment in deciding whether it is right or wrong to continue providing care for the child base on their decision not to vaccinate baby Ana. Dr. Kerr’s moral judgment manifests when she provides the parents with factual information on the benefits of vaccination while putting closure to the false statements regarding autism and vaccination. In this case, Dr. Kerr has an ethical decision to protect the people she serves.

NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

Effectiveness of Communication Approaches in the Case Study

  It is important in a patient-physician relationship for a medical professional to be able to communicate effectively. Communication must be provided in a clear, concise manner that the patient fully understands. If the patient is not capable of understanding, then it is the provider’s responsibility to make sure they have other resources to help them understand the matter at hand. This may include translation if the patients speak a different language. In the case of Dr. Kerr, communication was delivered effortlessly. She listened within reason to the parents’ concerns about vaccination. She then provided valuable information regarding the importance of vaccinating baby Ana. She acknowledges the controversy that was in the media recently which showed that Dr. Kerr was actively listening to their concerns. Dr. Kerr then provided credible resources such as VAERS so the parents can further do their research on vaccination. Although Dr. Kerr’s delivery was nonjudgmental or biased the parents were still determined not to get their child vaccinated.

NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

Resolving the Ethical Dilemma by Applying Ethical Principle

  Healthcare professionals can use the ethical principles outlines to solve dilemmas that they face. In the case study, Dr. Kerr uses the principle of autonomy to allow the parents to express their feelings about why they do not want their child vaccinated without any bias. She did not try to sway their decision. Instead, she demonstrated beneficence by providing factual information and educated them so they can make an informed decision. She showed nonmaleficence when she expressed concerns about immunocompromise children who do not have a choice to get vaccinated due to their compromised immune systems. By vaccinating a child, we protect both the child and the community- herd immunity ( Adamos, H et al, 2020). Dr. Kerr can either discontinue treating Ana at his time or put her other patients at risk which would not be justice for those families. Dr. Kerr could also try to put off the child getting a vaccination to a later date to allow the parents time to rethink their decision. She can provide more information on the risk of not getting Ana vaccinated and the consequences it may have. 

NHS FPX4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles TS

Conclusion

     Healthcare professionals can use the four principles of ethics to assist their decision-making when faced with certain dilemmas. Parents are the primary health care decision makers for their children. It is important that healthcare professionals provide a non-judgmental approach to delivering services to patients while fully educating patients on the pros and cons to their choices. Understanding the reasoning that leads to a parent’s decisions is critical to delivering the best care possible when dealing with an ethical situation, (Lam et al, 2016). In the case of Dr. Kerr, she demonstrated understanding of the dilemma she faces when confronted with the parent’s decision not to get Ana vaccinated. She allowed the parents autonomy when she did not try to sway their decision against vaccinating their child. She communicated efficiently the risk of not getting the child vaccinated by providing factual information on the matter.  Using the ethical principles are the best way to make sure that healthcare professionals are doing their due diligence in providing the safest care for those they serve.

References

Adamos, H., Dornbusch, H. J., Zachi, G., Leda, T., & Brierley, J. (2020). Mandatory 

vaccination: a  joint statement of the Ethics and Vaccination working groups of the 

European Academy of Pediatrics. European Journal of Pediatrics, 179(4), 683-687. 

http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s00431-019-03523-4

Capella University ( 2018). NHS-FP4000 Exemplar Sample Ethical Case Study. Retrieved from 

Capella Website https://media capella.edu/coursemedia/nhs4000element18655/Wrapper.asp.

Liao, Q., Lam, W. W., Tak, Cowling, B. J., & Fielding, R. (2016). Psychosocial influences on 

parental decision-making regarding vaccination against seasonal influenza for young 

children in hong kong: A longitudinal study, 2012-2013. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 23(5), 621-634. doi:http://dx.doi.org.library.capella.edu/10.1007/s12529-016-9551-1

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