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Ethics vs Law

Ethics vs Law

Ethical issues vary from one individual to another depending on their culture, surroundings, and view of life. Legal issues affect all individuals within a specific governed area despite their ethical beliefs (Young & Wagner, 2022). Most legal issues and laws are determined by ethics, making the distinction between ethics and the law difficult. Legal situations can be unethical, while ethical scenarios can be illegal. Legal issues are punishable according to the law, while ethical issues are not punishable by the law.

Euthanasia intentionally ends a patient’s life to end their suffering. This practice is legal in some countries but unethical (Olejarczyk & Young, 2022). Ethically, it is wrong to take away another person’s life. Ethics dictates that every human deserves to live till their last breath. Conversely, the law considers a human being’s quality of life, making euthanasia legal to end a patient’s unending suffering. The shortage of nurses is a challenge affecting the healthcare system (Haddad et al., 2022). Therefore, nurses must work long hours and unusual shifts to care for many patients. Labour laws are against overworking workers; therefore, overworking nurses is illegal. Still, patients need nursing care to ensure their quality of life and healing; therefore, nurses sacrificing their time is considered ethical.

Healthcare leaders must know the principles of justice, beneficence, autonomy, and non-maleficence to make ethical decisions affecting patients (Olejarczyk & Young, 2022). Healthcare leaders must constantly apply ethics and be open to learning and correction (Young & Wagner, 2022). Healthcare leaders must have integrity and lead by example. Staff members tend to emulate their leaders and face ethical challenges. Leaders must be present for their teams. Healthcare workers face legal and ethical issues and patients with different moral beliefs; therefore, leaders defend their team in case of any misunderstandings with patients.


Haddad, L.M., Annamaraju, P., & Toney-Butler, T.J. (2022). Nursing Shortage. StatPearls Publishing.

Olejarczyk, J.P., & Young, M. (2022). Patient Rights and Ethics. StatPearls Publishing.

Young, M., & Wagner, A. (2022). Medical Ethics. StatPearls Publishing.


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Ethics vs Law

Ethics vs Law

Healthcare professionals practice in a complex environment with many regulations, laws, and standards of practice. Performing an abortion is legal but may not be considered ethical by other healthcare professionals or members of the public at large. Other ethical dilemmas arise at the end of life when a decision must be made to turn off life-support machines and allow death to occur. Other common ethical issues a healthcare professional might face are confidentiality, patient relationships, and consent matters, especially in treating minors. An effective leader/manager is essential if a healthcare organization is to provide high-quality care and succeed financially. All healthcare leaders/managers at all healthcare organization levels who depend on others for efficient and effective work performance require leadership ability. Leadership quality is crucial to how work gets done in a well-managed healthcare organization. Discuss the following issues:

What are the differences between ethical issues and legal issues?
Analyze a scenario in which an issue may be unethical but legal.
Analyze a scenario in which an issue may be ethical but illegal. Explain your choices.
What traits and characteristics of a healthcare leader and manager are essential in ethical decision-making? Why?

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