What is an example of an ethical dilemma in nursing?

What is an example of an ethical dilemma in nursing?


An ethical dilemma requires a choice between two equally appealing, mutually exclusive choices OR two equally distasteful alternatives.  Also mutually exclusive.

A moral dilemma emerges when a person knows what is right but is constrained from doing it by forces beyond his control, or conversely, knows what is wrong but is compelled to do it anyway.


ethical dilemma case study examples in nursing


A military RN is ordered to force-feed a domestic prisoner while he is undergoing interrogation.  The prisoner is on a hunger strike protesting his capture and highlighting his cause. The nurse is to ensure the prisoner remains hydrated and fed so he can provide information and does not starve. The nurse is torn.  On the one hand, the nurse has a strong loyalty to the military objective of ensuring public safety by uncovering terrorist plots along with fear of reprisal if orders are disobeyed. Yet, the nurse is appalled at overriding a patient’s wishes by force-feeding him against his will.


ethical dilemma in nursing


Please answer the following questions in your paper:

  1. Is this an ethical dilemma or a moral dilemma?
  2. What ethical principles are in contention? How?
  3. Are there any virtues at risk? Whose? Why?
  4. What justifies overriding an individual’s autonomy to make his own choices?
  5. What lessons can be learned from this nurse’s dilemma?

The paper should be an APA formatted paper.  The components should include a title page, the body of the paper with a conclusion, and a reference page. You will have in-text citations APA cited and you will have the reference page APA formatted. You should have at least three (3) references to support your viewpoint.

Write a three-page paper analyzing this military nurse’s dilemma in terms of the following question. Provide a bibliography of at least three references.