The following sample essay on Examples Of Dilemmas Between Duty Of Care And Individuals Rights discusses it in detail, offering basic facts and pros and cons associated with it. To read the essay’s introduction, body and conclusion, scroll down.
In this essay I shall begin to justify how an ethical approach to providing support can benefit individuals and use examples to evaluate two potential dilemmas which could be faced by staff involved with the delivery of care in day to day working.
When working in a health and social care environment, there are various professionals that are often faced in day to day working of situations to which involve moral dilemmas which means that it is crucially important for each professional to have a clear understanding of morality and what moral decisions are and how they are linked to the practice of health and social care.
Not only this, but health and social care professionals also need to have a good understanding of their legal position and the morals and ethics that are a foundation of their professional code of practice which is extremely important in terms of occasions whereby a service user may refuse medical treatment or decides on a course of treatment which may not be beneficial for them in terms of their best interests.
When these situations arise, legislation and professional codes of practice must be implemented and used as valuable guidance for the professional to follow as well as numerous other ethical points. For example, when working with vulnerable service users, all health and social care professionals have a duty of care to protect their own rights.
If there is a proposed course of action or proposed treatment which could be harmful to a service user then the professional will have to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages for example, a cancer patient who normally are advised to undergo courses of chemotherapy or radiotherapy however this treatment also has harmful side effects, but the benefits of this type of therapy would outweigh the harm caused by the side effects of the treatment and therefore the treatment would normally be undertaken.
Health and Social Care providers also have the responsibility to ensure that the environments can safeguard vulnerable adults which includes recruiting new staff and providing resources to ensure that the service users’ needs are met. Situations can arise however, whereby behaviour or actions of one individual could harm another in the service and this could be an individual with mental health problems who might become violent to someone.
If this case does arise then the social care professionals must follow the services policies and procedures and if the behaviour of the individual is likely to result in significant harm to themselves or others then the individual will have to be restrained. These policies and procedures underlined from the mental capacity Act (2005) are guidelines which provide the knowledge for the health and social care professional, relating to the degree of harm which is likely to be suffered by the individual or others if the individual is not restrained.
This action is to promote the wellbeing of the individual and others and is known as beneficence to which in medical context means that taking action will serve the best interest of patients to which the professionals have a duty to protect and to act in such ways for each individuals best interests. Another way to which this can be illustrated is through the effectiveness and the cost of treatment whereby the professionals have to weigh up benefits to the loss of the money to which they would be making.
The ethical principles however such as independence and rights, empowerment, beneficence, safeguarding, autonomy, dignity, duty, morals and independence all have to be looked at when this decision is being made and all individuals should be fully aware of their rights and should also have equal access to medical treatment.
Empowering the individual means that they are ensured that they know enough information to make an informed choice about certain decisions that can affect their quality of life and helps the individual to have control in their lives. Vulnerable people in health and social care services can sometimes rely on professionals to ensure their independence and it is important that these professionals empower the individuals to influence their independence and don’t use benevolent oppression to make decisions for individuals in their care.
Examples of benevolent oppression include not allowing the individual to have relationships, limiting their alcohol intake, not allowing the individual to have privacy, preventing the individual with disabilities to go out on their own, choosing activities which are acceptable for them and not giving them any choice and not providing recourses which will promote independence and autonomy. Examples of a potential ethical dilemmas which could be faced by an individual includes an individual in a care facility disclosing that they are being abused by one of the care workers and pleads to another care worker to not tell anybody else.
However the right of confidentiality conflicts with the right to be protected from harm and therefore the care worker has a dilemma whether to follow through the individuals rights of confidentiality or to report the abuse to protect the individual from harm. In this care the care worker should report the other care worker to not only protect that individual who was subject to abuse but others which may also be being abused yet have not spoken out to anybody.
Another example includes religion and cultural beliefs, this could include Jehovah’s witnesses who by their religion do not agree with blood transfusions and therefore in situations whereby they are in hospital and require a blood transfusion to survive, the rights and duties of the professional may also conflict with those of the individuals who requires the blood transfusion and a decision will have to be made for the best course of action.
In this case although the ethical morals of the professional will need to be understood, the service users religious needs will have to be met and the blood transfusion would not be able to be undertaken unless the individual signs for confirmation or if they are not in the right state at that moment in time that an advocate is there to sign on behalf of their needs.
Thirdly two individuals which are living in supported tenancy in the community who have learning disabilities have become close in the last few months and have started hugging and holding hands yet when one of the individuals reveals this to a support worker the support worker begins to get concerned and discusses the situation with their supervisor who then restricted the two individuals outings so that they can no longer be together without telling the individuals.
In this case the support worker believes that she is protecting the two individuals however it is evident that that these two individuals are not being allowed their independence and this is affecting both of their quality of lives. This is an example of benevolent oppression and it is evident that the support worker and the professionals working with should be more aware of ethical principles. In this case I believe that the two learning disability individuals should have been spoken to and the matter should have been discussed with them first before any action was implemented.
Keeping the individuals out of the loop prevented them from having a say in their care and they were not allowed the independence to choose how they spend their life and who they spend their life with. In conclusion ethical principles are a key part in the delivery of patient care and each service needs to have the appropriate policies and procedures for guidelines on how the professionals should act when ethical dilemmas arise.
There are numerous benefits of delivering care in an ethical approach for reasons such as the individuals independence and rights are respected and taken into account, the individual is empowered and therefore feels confident in the fact that they have the power to say what happens in their care and how they live their life. Other reasons include factors such as the individuals dignity will be respected which will rise their self-concept and they won’t feel like a waste of space who isn’t able to care for themselves and instead will feel respected and cared for.