Applying Ethical Frameworks in Practice

The Ethical Dilemma

The presented case study describes how the 6-year-old child is unable to get the best medical care. The existing dilemma arises from the fact that the two parents have diverse views regarding the use of medication. The child has been diagnosed with meningitis. The religious views of the non-biological mother do not embrace the use of medicines. On the other hand, the father believes strongly that his child should take the best drugs for the condition. This scenario has created an ethical dilemma whereby the targeted caregiver must make the most appropriate decision (Casterle, Izumi, Godfrey, & Denhaerynck, 2008). The ultimate goal of the decision is to support the health needs of the 6-year old child.

Decision-Making Model

Various decision-making models have been presented in order to support different caregivers. Medical practitioners should use similar models in order to make accurate decisions that have the potential to improve the quality of care. The most appropriate tool is Uustal’s decision-making model (Thorne, 2009). This model presents nine powerful stages that can eventually deliver quality health outcomes. The caregiver will begin by analyzing the existing dilemma or problem. This will be followed by “a critical analysis of the ethical issue” (Deegan, 2012, p. 16). The next step is used to outline the best strategies that can address the dilemma. The fourth step will ensure the caregiver identifies specific alternatives that can deliver positive outcomes. The fifth step is “used to analyze the possible outcomes” (Deegan, 2012, p. 14). The consequences and implications of the outlined alternatives should also be clearly understood. The next step will guide the caregiver to select the best alternative. The seventh step is used to develop the best strategy or Action Plan. The next step is the implementation process. The ninth step is “used whenever evaluating the success and effectiveness of the implemented Action Plan” (Thorne, 2009, p. 275). This discussion shows clearly that Uustal’s decision-making model can support the needs of more patients.

Resolving the Dilemma

Uustal’s decision-making model can address this dilemma and eventually produce positive results. I can use this model to address the issue. The first approach will be to analyze the facts of the case. The next step is to identify the major options that can be embraced in an attempt to address the problem. For instance, I can embrace the requirements of the father or those of the non-biological mother. However, meningitis is a dangerous disease that must be treated using the best drugs. The decision to follow the father’s expectations will support the health goals of the targeted child (Thorne, 2009). The other alternative will satisfy the religious needs of the mother while at the same ignoring the outcomes of the child.

These options will make it easier for me to develop the best Action Plan. This plan will focus mainly on the needs of every interested party. I will collaborate with the child’s father because he supports the use of medicines. The Action Plan will also outline new approaches to educate the mother about the issues associated with the condition. She will be able to examine every available option. The plan will also outline the major health problems and risks associated with the meningitis (Boyles et al., 2013). I will also encourage some of my Health Leaders (HLs) and workmates to be part of the decision-making process. Such practitioners will be required to inform the targeted family members about the dangers associated with meningitis.

The plan will also focus on the best approaches in order to inform the child’s mother about the religious issues associated with healthcare. The mother will understand how culturally-competent care focuses on the spiritual, religious, and physical aspects of an individual (Deegan, 2012). The use of medicines will also be supported as a powerful method that augments the religious views of a patient. The final step will examine the outcomes of the Action Plan.


It is agreeable that every caregiver should support the changing health needs of his or her patients. Every healthcare practice should be culturally-competent. The important goal is to strike a balance and support the ever-changing needs of different stakeholders. This knowledge explains why meningitis should never be taken lightly. Scientific evidences have proved “that meningitis can kill if it is left untreated” (Boyles et al., 2013, p. 7). It is therefore appropriate to administer the required medication to the 6-year old child. My goal is to ensure the targeted child happy and free. The goal can be achieved by supporting the child’s health outcomes. Many Christians strongly believe that religion encourages individuals to help one another. My support therefore arises from the desire to do what is right and produce much happiness. This practice will ensure the child gets the best support and eventually leads a fruitful life (Boyles et al., 2013). The family should be supportive throughout the healing process. Members of the family should pray for the child. It will also be appropriate to guide, empower, and support the patient. Our institution is always ready to offer evidence-based support that can eventually promote the best health outcomes. The best thing is to engage in positive healthcare practices in order to support humanity and God.

Reference List

Boyles, T., Bamford, C., Bateman, K., Blumberg, L., Dramowski, A., Karstaedt, A.,… Mendelson, M. (2013). Guidelines for the management of acute meningitis in children and adults in South Africa. Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection, 28(1), 5-15.

Casterle, B., Izumi, S., Godfrey, N., & Denhaerynck, G. (2008). Nurses’ Responses to Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing Practice: Meta-Analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 63(6), 540-549.

Deegan, J. (2012). A View from the Outside: Nurses’ Clinical Decision-Making in the Twenty-First Century. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 40(4), 12-18.

Thorne, L. (2009). The Association Between Ethical Conflict and Adverse Outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics, 92(2), 269-276.