Ethics & Law: Issue Paper
This paper will build on your comparison paper topic. You will now provide a written critique of a current controversial issue in health care. The purpose of your critique is to provide a balanced look at the topic of interest. Your writing should be objective and explore the issues in a balanced way. Statements need to be supported by your research of the topic and sound rationale. Paper should be no longer than 5-6 pages excluding the cover, abstract and reference pages.
The paper is to be in the following format:
Abstract (summary of the issue) – no longer than 1 paragraph. (See APA guidelines for abstracts)
Analysis of the problem from the ethical standpoint. (about 2 pages)
o Explain the problem for the reader. Gather as much information as possible about the problem and select the data most relevant to the decision to be made.
o Explain why the problem is an ethical dilemma. Identify the ethical components of the problem, situation or issue: The identifying characteristics of ethical problems are:
1) it does not belong solely within any of the sciences (Why does it not belong solely in the sciences?)
2) it is inherently perplexing (Why are there no easy answers to this problem?), and
3) the answer reached has implications that touch on many areas of human concern. (What are some of the implications of the answer to the dilemma on human beings and/or society?)
Address each of these 3 questions listed above.
o If a problem meets these criteria, the type of ethical problem involved should be identified, e.g. is it a case of conflicting rights? Are duties conflicting with outcomes? Which rights are involved? What kind of duties? Explain the underlying problem
Individuals involved in the decision-making. (about 1 page)
o All persons involved must be identified together with how they are involved.
What is the extent or scope of their authority?
What is the foundation for their duty to make a decision in this type of situation?
What factors may limit their ability to make a decision?
Analysis of the problem from a legal standpoint. ( about 1 page)
o What laws are in place that deal with this issue?
o What have been the case law findings in cases dealing with this issue?
o If there is no specific law covering this dilemma, explain the laws that deal with parts of the problem or are closest to covering this problem
Course of action, ethical guidance, recommendations and summary based on your research of this problem. (about 2pages)
Options or courses of action: Identify the possible courses of action.
You must explain at least two possible courses of action.
Then project as accurately as possible the potential consequences of each proposed course of action.
Consider the facts and values.
How would deontology (ethical framework) resolve the problem?
How would utilitarian theory (ethical framework) respond to the problem?
What other ethical framework could resolve the issue?
What ethical principles come into play in considering how to resolve this issue? Discuss at least 2 ethical principles.
How do nursing ethics guide nursing practice in dealing with this problem? Refer to the Nursing Code of Ethics – review and cite parts of the Code that provide guidance to the nurse involved in the dilemma being discussed in your paper
Based on what you have found in your research of this topic, how should the nursing profession respond to this problem? What do you recommend? Explain the rationale for your opinion and recommendation.
Summary – Should be a strong conclusion
o Choose references from peer-reviewed journals.
o Do not use sources from lay magazines (Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest for example).
o Any internet resources used must meet the following criteria:
It is an article in an on-line medical or nursing journal.
There is an author and publication date. The publication must be a peer-reviewed journal.
o Federal and state government sites are sources of satisfactory legal information. www.findlaw.com is one such source of legal information.
APA format is to be used for this paper.
o The library and the Internet both are sources of information about correct use of APA format. APA is the format typically used for nursing and medical writing. See information under Useful Links on course site.
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