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Examples of Ethical Dilemmas

The word ‘ethics’ refers to the examination of our basic moral values and provides a guideline to help us understand what we should and should not do. When values conflict while making a decision, we can face an ethical dilemma.
 
The following collection of publications are position pieces developed to provide both staff and individuals direction on various complex decisions and ethical dilemmas that often arise in healthcare.
 
Facilitating Client Care in the Most Appropriate Available Care Settings
Providing appropriate care to clients who place themselves or others at risk raises many challenges to healthcare teams and organizations, and requires some specific directions that balances considerations of both client autonomy and professional autonomy without ignoring the unique features of each clinical case. This Position Paper offers consideration, discussion, and direction to assist health and community service professionals and managers in navigating these complex issues.
 
To download this document, click here.
 
Withholding/Withdrawing Artificial Nutrition/Hydration
Artificial nutrition/hydration is the delivery of nutrition and hydration by intravenous or through a tube inserted into the gastro-intestinal tract. Questions about forgoing nutrition and hydration will ordinarily arise when death is the predictable or unavoidable outcome of the patient’s underlying medical condition. This position paper covers decisions about withholding or withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration.
 
To download this document, click here.
 
Withholding/Withdrawing Life-Sustaining Treatment
Life-sustaining treatment is any medical intervention, technology, procedure, or medication that is administered to a patient in order to forestall the moment of death, whether or not the treatment is intended to affect the underlying life-threatening
disease or biologic processes. Examples include ventilators, dialysis, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Questions about forgoing life-sustaining treatment will ordinarily arise when death is the predictable or unavoidable outcome of the patient’s underlying medical condition. This position paper covers decisions about the use of life-sustaining treatment.
 
To download this document, click here.
 

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Updated Dec 14, 2011