I’ve been reading a lot of articles about ethics lately as I prepare to update our Focus On: Nursing Ethics collection. Of course, so many dilemmas that I’ve faced in my practice are coming to mind and I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to these ethical issues and the decisions that I/the team made. Here are some of the issues that have been on my mind:
What do you do when…
…a patient wants to sign out AMA? Do you try to convince him to stay?
…you suspect someone you know personally has an eating disorder? Do you speak up?
…a patient is having pain and the prescriber refuses to order a pain medication? Do you go up the chain of command?
…you feel that your patient assignment is unsafe? Do you demand a change?
…you are sick but you know that the unit is already short-staffed for your shift? Do you go in to work?
What ethical dilemmas have you faced in your practice? How did you and your colleagues handle it?