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NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

Working in the healthcare industry is equally gratifying and challenging for any healthcare professional. High ethical standards are necessary for healthcare. Each day of health care workers can be filled with choices that have positive and negative consequences. The four principles of health care ethics provide medical practitioners with guidelines to make decisions when they face complicated situations involving patients. The four principles of healthcare ethics are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Using these four principles can help healthcare professionals identify ethical dilemmas and find solutions by having conversations with their patients about their needs and desires.

Overview of the Case Study

Dr Angela Kerr is a paediatrician who bases her patients’ care on scientific research and data. Jenna and Chris Smith are the parents of Ana, a 5-day-old baby girl. The Smith wants to raise Ana as naturally as possible and not allow her to be vaccinated. Jenna and Chris believe that vaccines can be a cause of developing autism in babies based on the research they did. So, the Smiths strongly agree that the harm caused by vaccines outweighs their benefits, and they are not going to vaccinate Ana despite the recommendations of medical professionals.

Dr Kerr tries to explain the importance of vaccination to Jenna and Chris. She states that vaccines save lives and protect against long-term health consequences. Dr Kerr brings the example of the recent outbreak of measles as the result of individuals who have not been vaccinated against it. Dr Kerr also suggests the Smith family use the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to read about vaccine safety. She explains that people can use the VAERS website to report any adverse reactions to vaccines, and based on that data government can monitor its safety. Dr Kerr also mentions that many studies show that vaccines do not cause autism in children. Finally, Dr Kerr talks about “herd immunity.” When a person gets vaccinated against a disease, their risk of infection is also reduced, so they’re also less likely to transmit the virus or bacteria to others. As more people in a community get vaccinated, fewer people remain vulnerable, and there is less possibility for an infected person to pass the pathogen on to another person. Lowering the possibility for a pathogen to circulate in the community protects those who cannot be vaccinated from the disease targeted by the vaccine. Dr Kerr concludes that most states require children to be vaccinated before they can attend school or preschool. Dr Kerr understands that vaccination is a personal choice, but she believes that it is very important to be vaccinated in order to protect an individual and the whole community. Dr Kerr is faced with an ethical dilemma of whether she should respect the decision of Ana’s parents or use ethical behaviour to make more recommendations regarding a course of action.

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

Analysis of Ethical Issues in the Case Study

In the case study, Dr Kerr is faced with an ethical dilemma because Jenna and Chris Smith, parents of 5-day-old baby Ana, refuse to vaccinate their child. The Smiths strongly believe that vaccination can cause a lot of harm to their baby, and they refuse to vaccinate Ana despite Dr Kerr’s opinion. Dr Kerr goes over all benefits of the vaccination. She mentions that vaccination can protect not only Ana from deadly diseases but also it can protect the whole community. She brings up the measles outbreak as an example of how vaccination is important for our population. The Smith family listens to Dr Kerr, but at the end of the conversation, they still refuse to vaccinate Ana. Dr Kerr is concerned about their strong opinion against vaccination because she knows if even one child is not vaccinated, it is dangerous for the general population, especially for people with poor immunity.

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

Moral awareness, moral judgment, and ethical behaviour are three components of the ethical decision-making model. This model can be used to understand and resolve an ethical dilemma from the case study. Moral awareness is a recognition that an ethical problem exists. Such recognition requires being aware of how our behaviour impacts others, identifying possible courses of action, and determining the consequences of each potential strategy. After determining there is an ethical problem, moral judgment can be used to evaluate choices and outcomes. Finally, ethical behavior, the last component of the decision-making model, means taking the right action to resolve the problem. In the case study, Dr Kerr is aware of the existing problem, and she understands the consequences of not vaccinating Ana. Her moral judgment is reflected in trying to convince Ana’s parents to vaccinate their daughter by explaining all benefits of vaccination not only for Ana but also for the whole community. Dr Kerr also states that according to VAERS, no vaccine has been proven casual for autism spectrum disorder. Moreover, she goes over the consequences of not vaccinating Ana. After evaluating possible solutions and their consequences, Dr Kerr decides to act using her ethical behavior. After having chosen an intended action, Dr Kerr must consider her final behavior and what has the potential to influence her action. Dr Kerr’s action depends on four principles of health care ethics and her personal judgment as a health care worker.

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

Effectiveness of Communication Approach in the Case Study

Communication is a crucial component in all steps of the healthcare process. One of the most important parts of communication is listening. Dr Kerr effectively listens to Jenna and Chris Smith. She learns about their lifestyle, the way they want to rise Ana, and their concerns about vaccination. Listening helps Dr Kerr to understand why the Smith family is against vaccination. Dr Kerr’s communication is effective in this case study because she focuses on patient safety, shares research findings and give examples. First, Dr Kerr states that vaccines have saved the lives of millions of children worldwide and have been largely responsible for the decrease in child mortality. Her statement shows that she is concerned about Ana’s health. Second, Dr Kerr shares the federal government’s VAERS website as a reliable source to confirm the vaccine’s safety. Finally, Dr Kerr brings an example of the recent outbreak of measles. She wants the Smith family to see the consequences of not vaccinating their daughter Ana. Using effective communication, Dr Kerr shows that she respects the Smith family’s opinion about vaccination, but because she is a healthcare professional, she must educate them about the benefits and consequences of it. Even though Dr Kerr’s communication is effective in this case study, the Smith family refuses to vaccinate Ana at this time.

Resolving the Ethical Dilemma by Applying Ethical Principles

Healthcare professionals use the four ethical principles to resolve ethical dilemmas, such as in the case study. The four ethical principles include autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. In the medical field, autonomy respects a person’s freedom to choose what is right for them. Beneficence means that healthcare providers must do all they can to benefit the patient. All procedures and treatments recommended must be with the intention to do the most good for the patient. Nonmaleficence means that healthcare workers must do no harm intentionally. The justice principle states that there should be fairness in all medical decisions.

In the medical field, the patient’s autonomy often comes into conflict with the doctor’s beneficence. The doctor wants what is best for the patient but also does not want to take away the patient’s autonomy. In the case study, Dr Kerr faces the conflict between autonomy and beneficence. She, as a healthcare professional, wants the best for Ana because her parent strongly agrees with not vaccinating their daughter. Dr Kerr has to respect their decision based on the principle of autonomy. Dr Kerr shows her respect by listening and not coercing them to vaccinate Ana but by educating them about the importance of vaccination and its benefits.

To solve the ethical dilemma related to the case study, Dr Kerr could mention such organizations as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. CDC is the nation’s health protection agency that saves lives and protects people from health, safety and security threats. The mission of the American Academy of Pediatrics is to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescence, and young adults. Both organizations apply rigorous scientific standards to ensure the accuracy and reliability of research. Using these two sources, additionally with the VAERS website, could provide the Smith family with more reliable information and the possibility to change their opinion about vaccination based on building more trust. On the other hand, Dr Kerr could also use a story from her experience about an unprotected child who became ill or share a personal experience of vaccinating her family members. Sometimes true stories can build trust or at least make people think more and research more about the concerns they have. Despite the fact that Dr Kerr used effective communication when talking to the Smith family, they still refused vaccination at the end of the conversation. Refusing to vaccinate Ana despite the recommendations of Dr Kerr does not mean that Dr Kerr’s communication is not effective. Some people take a longer time to process the information they just heard or to do more research based on the suggestion given to them. It may happen that on the next doctor’s visit, Jenna and Chris Smith will change their opinion about vaccination. Dr Kerr also could contact Smith a few days after the visit. A caring call or email can provide comfort and reinforce trust.

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles


The four principles of healthcare ethics support healthcare professionals as they navigate patient care. Each of these principles has a unique objective, but the four come together to ensure that patients are receiving high-quality and ethical health care. In this case study, Dr Kerr uses ethical principles to resolve an ethical dilemma. She uses the autonomy principle by listening and respecting the Smith family’s decision about not vaccinating their daughter Ana. On the other hand, Dr Kerr tries to use the principle of beneficence, as a health care professional, to educate them on the importance of vaccination not only for Ana but also for the whole community. The proposed solution involves upholding the principles of autonomy and beneficence to resolve Dr Kerr’s ethical dilemma.


In Darr, K., In Farnsworth, T. J., & In Myrtle, R. C. (2017). Cases in health services management. Capella Website:

Jahromi, V. K., Tabatabaee, S. S., Abdar, Z. E., & Rajabi, M. (2016). Active listening: The key to successful communication in hospital managers. Electronic physician, 8(3), 2123– 2128.

Jahn W. T. (2011). The 4 basic ethical principles that apply to forensic activities are respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 10(3), 225–226.

Tymińska, J., & Wysocki, J. (2017). Is one minute enough to convince parents to vaccinate their child?. Przeglad epidemiologiczny, 71(3), 439–455.


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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

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