Choose a case from the AMA Journal of Ethics Case Index and take a position. For this assignment you will evaluate the ethical arguments for or against the issue. Identify the potential legal arguments (consider current federal guidelines), indicate any potential professional code conflicts you foresee, and support your position with an explanation of your own ethical/moral foundation.
In your 3 pages paper:
- Identify the issue and state your ethical position.
- How might this scenario play out or impact you in your role as a nurse practitioner?
- Defend your position with legal, ethical, and professional evidence.
- As part of your position, propose strategies and solutions for addressing the issues.
- What other ethical issues does this case bring to light, if any?
Expert Solution Preview
In this assignment, we will analyze a case from the AMA Journal of Ethics Case Index and evaluate the ethical arguments surrounding the issue. We will also consider the potential legal arguments, potential conflicts with professional codes, and discuss our own ethical/moral foundation. The objective is to critically analyze the case, assess its impact on the role of a nurse practitioner, and propose strategies for addressing the ethical issues it presents.
Case Selection and Ethical Position:
The chosen case from the AMA Journal of Ethics Case Index revolves around the ethical dilemma of informed consent in a medical research trial involving vulnerable patients. After careful consideration, my ethical position on this issue is centered on ensuring the respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice principles.
Impact on Role as a Nurse Practitioner:
As a nurse practitioner, this scenario can have significant implications. Firstly, it challenges the crucial aspect of patient autonomy and their right to make informed decisions about their healthcare. It also highlights the duty of healthcare professionals to provide accurate and complete information to patients, as well as the need to protect vulnerable populations from exploitation.
Defense of Ethical Position:
To support my ethical position, I will consider legal, ethical, and professional evidence. From a legal perspective, current federal guidelines and regulations require informed consent from participants involved in research trials. The principle of autonomy, a fundamental aspect of medical ethics, affirms the importance of respecting patients’ decisions and ensuring their participation in research is voluntary.
Ethically, the principles of beneficence and justice also come into play. Beneficence dictates that healthcare professionals must act in the best interest of the patient, considering potential benefits and harms. In this case, it is crucial to assess whether the research trial holds potential benefits for the vulnerable population involved and whether the risks are minimized.
Professional evidence can be found in various codes of ethics, such as the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics, which emphasizes the importance of patient advocacy and respecting their autonomy. Any potential professional conflicts can arise if a nurse practitioner is conflicted between interests of the research trial and the patient’s well-being.
Proposed Strategies and Solutions:
To address the ethical issues presented in this case, it is crucial to promote transparency and ensure patients’ understanding of the research trial. Healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners, should focus on patient education and clear communication regarding potential risks, benefits, and alternatives. In addition, establishing an independent ethics committee or review board can enhance the fairness and oversight of the research trial.
Moreover, fostering collaboration between healthcare professionals, researchers, and patients can lead to the development of research trials that prioritize patient well-being and autonomy. It is essential to create an environment where all stakeholders are involved in the decision-making process, allowing patients to make informed choices based on their own values and preferences.
Other Ethical Issues:
This case brings to light several ethical issues beyond the informed consent dilemma. One such issue is the potential exploitation of vulnerable populations, questioning the principles of justice and fairness. Additionally, the balance between advancing medical knowledge through research and protecting the well-being of vulnerable patients is highlighted, emphasizing the need for ethical guidelines and oversight in research involving such populations.
In conclusion, the ethical evaluation of this case emphasizes the importance of informed consent, patient autonomy, and considerations of beneficence and justice. As nurse practitioners, it is crucial to uphold these principles, advocate for patients’ rights, and actively contribute to the development of strategies that address the ethical concerns raised. By prioritizing transparency, education, and collaboration, healthcare professionals can navigate the challenges posed by medical research trials, ultimately promoting the well-being of patients and upholding ethical standards.