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Applying Ethical Principles

Applying Ethical Principles

Dealing with issues that present ethical dilemmas is common for healthcare professionals. However, healthcare professionals must always apply ethical principles in making decisions regarding their practice. Healthcare practices are governed by the basic principles of healthcare ethics include autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. The Ethical Decision-Making Model assists healthcare professionals in ensuring that they follow these ethical principles in all care decisions and actions they take.

Overview of the Jenna and Chris Smith Vaccination Case

Dr. Angela Kerr, a new Pediatrician, is presented with the vaccination case of Ana, Jenna and Chris Smith’s daughter. Jenna and Chris Smith are new parents of a 5-day-old Ana. Ana was born at the Community Hospital without any reported complications. Her parents are focused on raising her organically and do not intend to have her vaccinated. Jenna and Chris Smith are both college-educated. They claim to have researched vaccines and have concluded that the potential harms caused by vaccines far outweigh any benefits of getting vaccinated. As an example, they point to the rise in autism rates as proof of the unforeseen risk of vaccines. They state that their research included reading online mommy blogs that detail the link between vaccines and the cases of autism in many children. Based on the findings of their research, they have concluded that their daughter, Ana, will not get vaccinated.

Ethical Issues in the Jenna and Chris Smith Vaccination Case

The medical community recommends that children get vaccinated to reinforce their immunity and protect them against infectious diseases. However, in this case, Jenna and Chris Smith have decided their daughter will not get vaccinated. Due to the requirements and recommendations of the medical community, children need to get the first dose of the HepB vaccine at birth to protect them against the potentially fatal Haemophilus influenza type B. The Smiths clearly state that they will raise Ana as naturally as possible, including breastfeeding her for the next six months. For newborns, research has evidently proved that breastfeeding plays a role in the development of the immune system (Stewart, 2021). This can provide the needed protection against diseases related to the infant and childhood stages. However, the immunity grows weaker and starts wearing off once breastfeeding is over. The Smiths’ decision to raise their child naturally and without vaccination and the need for the child to get vaccinated as per the medical community’s recommendations for the benefit of her health in the future create an ethical problem for Dr Angela Kerr. In this case, Jenna and Chris Smith will not be directly affected by their decision; rather, it is their daughter, Ana. Dr. Angela Kerr must analyze the case and find a solution that meets the standards of ethical practice in healthcare.

Application of Ethical Decision-Making Model in the Analysis of Jenna and Chris Smith’s Vaccination Case

The Ethical Decision-Making Model views ethical decisions from the perspectives of an individual’s moral awareness, moral judgment, and ethical behaviour. These steps help identify the causes of the ethical problem presented and the need to apply the ethical principles of health care to find a solution. Moral awareness enables a decision-maker to acknowledge the ethical problem. Moral judgment enables the decision-maker to choose between right and wrong as per the ethical concern. A combination of moral awareness and moral judgment defines the decision-maker’s ethical behaviour. By being ethically informed, the decision-maker will be able to take the right action to resolve the ethical problem ethically.

In the case of Jenna and Chris Smith and their decision to not vaccinate Ana, the pediatrician takes time to understand the basis of their decision. They point out their concerns over vaccines. They also note they have gained information about vaccines from mommy blogs. Listening to them gives Dr Angela Kerr a perspective of their moral awareness, reasons for their moral judgement and their behaviour. It also informs her morally and helps her identify the ethical issue, in this case, the ethical dilemma it presents, and how to develop ethical solutions. The application of the Ethical Decision-Making Model, in this case, is therefore evidenced by the pediatrician listening to the parents, their concerns, and their sources of information. Dr Kerr also provides detailed professional advice based on clinical evidence on vaccines and references they can use for professional information on vaccines.

Effectiveness of Communication Approaches Applied by Dr. Angela Kerr in the Jenna and Chris Smith Vaccination Case

Dr. Angela Kerr intently listens to Jenna and Chris Smith describe their research and sources that informed their decision not to vaccinate their daughter. She takes time to listen and understand their concerns about vaccines and the alternatives they have to ensure their daughter’s health. She does not interrupt them or correct them in their explanation. Active listening during patient-physician interaction is critical to help the physician collect data about the patient and establish their concerns. Evidence has shown that attentiveness and listening to patients improve the patient-physician relationship (Cifu et al., 2020). It helps the client or patient relax, be comfortable, and be engaged in developing viable solutions to their problem. Accordingly, this makes it necessary to avoid passing judgement on the patient’s point of view on a disease or a situation.

By listening to Jenna and Chris Smith, Dr Kerr can understand their perspectives on vaccines and establish why they do not want Ana vaccinated. In addition, she clearly identifies the ethical issues and understands how to deal with them. At first, Dr Angela Kerr appreciates the controversies surrounding vaccines and presents evidence-based information on vaccines and their importance in human immunity and protection against diseases and infections. She suggests having Ana vaccinated and presents the parents with information on the safety of vaccines and resources to clarify the safety of vaccines and the need for vaccinations. Evidence-based practices lead to better quality and safety of care and patient outcomes (Schaefer & Welton, 2018). It also improves the patient-physician relationship and the responsiveness to treatment, leading to patient and client satisfaction (Norcross & Wampold, 2018).

Proposed Ethically Informed Solution

Although Dr. Angela Kerr endorses the safety of vaccinations, provides details and resources on vaccination, and the Smiths confirm their understanding of all that, they still stand with their decision not to have Ana vaccinated. This creates a bigger ethical dilemma for Dr. Angela Kerr. At this point, she has to apply the ethical principles of healthcare of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Ethics in healthcare go beyond guiding the interactions between physicians and patients to apply to the actions and words physicians use (Jill Day et al., 2018). Dr. Angela Kerr, in her solution, must respect the autonomy of the Smiths in making the call for the vaccination Ana. However, in this case, she must consider the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice in the case of vaccinating Ana. She is required to act for the Welfare of Ana while considering that in case of harm to the child due to vaccination, she bears liability. She also cannot force Ana to be vaccinated.

In this case, she has to forward the case to the facility’s management to decide on further action. This action ensures that she acts in accordance with the ethical principles of healthcare while improving Jenna and Chris Smith’s trust in the healthcare systems. Forwarding the case to facility management will foster more professional collaboration as different departments will come together to find a more ethical solution and conclusion to the case.


Cifu, A. S., Lembo, A., & Davis, A. M. (2020). Can an evidence-based approach improve the patient-physician relationship?. JAMA323(1), 31-32.

Jill Day, B. G. S., LDA, R., CDA, C., & Sarah Stream, B. A. (2018). Ethics in the Dental Office: Autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice should guide your decisions. Dental Assistant87(4), 8-9.

Norcross, J. C., & Wampold, B. E. (2018). A new therapy for each patient: Evidence‐based relationships and responsiveness. Journal of Clinical Psychology74(11), 1889-1906.

Schaefer, J. D., & Welton, J. M. (2018). Evidence-based practice readiness: A concept analysis. Journal of Nursing Management26(6), 621-629.

Stewart, C. (2021). Breastfeeding promotes bifidobacterial immunomodulatory metabolites. Nature Microbiology6(11), 1335-1336.


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Develop a solution to a specific ethical dilemma faced by a healthcare professional by applying ethical principles. Describe the issues and a possible solution in a 3-5 page paper.

Applying Ethical Principles

Applying Ethical Principles

Whether you are a nurse, a public health professional, a health care administrator, or in another role in the health care field, you must base your decisions on a set of ethical principles and values. Your decisions must be fair, equitable, and defensible. Each discipline has established a professional code of ethics to guide ethical behaviour. In this assessment, you will practice working through an ethical dilemma as described in a case study. Your practice will help you develop a method for formulating ethical decisions.

Ethical Case Studies
Consider the ethical dilemma the health care professional is faced with in the selected case study. Pay particular attention to details that will help you analyze the situation using the three components of the Ethical Decision Making Model (moral awareness, moral judgment, and ethical behaviour).
Note: The case study may not supply all of the information you may need for the assignment. In such cases, you should consider a variety of possibilities and infer potential conclusions. However, please be sure to identify any speculations that you make.

Note: The requirements outlined below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. At a minimum, be sure to address each point. In addition, you are encouraged to review the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.
For this assessment, develop a solution to a specific ethical dilemma faced by a health care professional. In your assessment:
1. Access the Ethical Case Studies media piece to review the case studies you will be using for this assessment.
• Select the case most closely related to your area of interest and use it to complete the assessment.
 Note: The case study may not supply all of the information you need. In such cases, you should consider a variety of possibilities and infer potential conclusions. However, please be sure to identify any assumptions or speculations you make.
o Include the selected case study in your reference list, using proper APA style and format. Refer to the Evidence and APA section of the Writing Center for guidance.
2. Summarize the facts in a case study and use the three components of an ethical decision-making model to analyze an ethical problem or issue and the factors that contributed to it.
o Identify which case study you selected and briefly summarize the facts surrounding it. Identify the problem or issue that presents an ethical dilemma or challenge and describe that dilemma or challenge.
o Identify who is involved or affected by the ethical problem or issue.
o Access the Ethical Decision-Making Model media piece and use the three components of the ethical decision-making model (moral awareness, moral judgment, and ethical behavior) to analyze the ethical issues.
 Apply the three components outlined in the Ethical Decision-Making Model media.
o Analyze the factors that contributed to the ethical problem or issue identified in the case study.
 Describe the factors that contributed to the problem or issue and explain how they contributed.
3. Apply academic peer-reviewed journal articles relevant to an ethical problem or issue as evidence to support an analysis of the case.
o In addition to the readings provided, use the Capella library to locate at least one academic peer-reviewed journal article relevant to the problem or issue that you can use to support your analysis of the situation. The NHS-FPX4000: Developing a Health Care Perspective Library Guide will help you locate appropriate references.
 Cite and apply key principles from the journal article as evidence to support your critical thinking and analysis of the ethical problem or issue.
 Review the Think Critically About Source Quality resource.
 Assess the credibility of the information source.
 Assess the relevance of the information source.
4. Discuss the effectiveness of the communication approaches present in a case study.
o Describe how the health care professional in the case study communicated with others.
o Assess instances where the professional communicated effectively or ineffectively.
o Explain which communication approaches should be used and which ones should be avoided.
o Describe the consequences of using effective and non-effective communication approaches.
5. Discuss the effectiveness of the approach used by a professional to deal with problems or issues involving ethical practice in a case study.
o Describe the actions taken in response to the ethical dilemma or issue presented in the case study.
o Summarize how well the professional managed professional responsibilities and priorities to resolve the problem or issue in the case.
o Discuss the key lessons this case provides for health care professionals.
6. Apply ethical principles to a possible solution to an ethical problem or issue described in a case study.
o Describe the proposed solution.
o Discuss how the approach makes this professional more effective or less effective in building relationships across disciplines within his or her organization.
o Discuss how likely it is the proposed solution will foster professional collaboration.
7. Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.
o Apply the principles of effective composition.
o Determine the proper application of the rules of grammar and mechanics.
8. Write using APA style for in-text citations, quotes, and references.
o Determine the proper application of APA formatting requirements and scholarly writing standards.
o Integrate information from outside sources into academic writing by appropriately quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing, following APA style.
Example Assessment: You may use the following to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like:
• Assessment 1 Example [PDF].
Additional Requirements
Your assessment should also meet the following requirements:
• Length: 3–5 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page and reference page.
• Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
• APA tutorial: Use the APA Style Paper Tutorial [DOCX] for guidance.
• Written communication: Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
• References: Integrate information from outside sources to include at least two references (the case study and an academic peer-reviewed journal article) and three in-text citations within the paper.
• APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for in-text citation of outside sources in the body of your paper and also on the reference page.

Use the scoring guide to understand how your assessment will be evaluated.

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