Ethics Paper

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・2 Sources

The simple purpose of intent of ethics is to guide people into being accountable individuals by how they behave and interact with others. Therefore, the codes of ethics decide people’s behaviors regardless of the fact that they are dynamic from one society to the other. Ethical policies include the concepts of non-violence, beneficence, respect for autonomy, justice and other acceptable behavioral practices. Respect for autonomy is extensively practiced in medical ethics. The respect for freedom is a concept that entails respecting the competent decisions made by grownup patients. The principle lies down the need to look for consent from the affected person before any treatment or investigation is carried out. The principle of beneficence is a concept where people take actions that benefit others. The beneficent actions could be made with the aim of preventing and combating harms among people or improve their situation. The principle of justice represents the people’s ethical responsibility to take actions that are based on fair arbitration between contrasting claims. The concept is linked with the need for equality, fairness and entitlement. According to most scholars, the involvement of Stephen Toulmin in earlier social ethics politics led to the development of the Toulmin Model of Argument.

It is, therefore, necessary to learn how to respond to the ethical dilemmas. The moral dilemmas are situations where people are forced to choose between only two or more options that have potential favorable and non-favorable consequences (Lo, P 57). In most cases, neither of the two possibilities always resolves the situations in the satisfactory moral fashion. Ethical dilemmas affect many people because of how they are unpredictable, unforeseen, and in other cases sometimes multifaceted. In conditions where people are involved in moral dilemmas, the basic principles are often tested because at the end of it all, fair decisions and outcomes are expected. A good example is the nurses who face the ethical dilemmas on many occasions during their work hours. The principle of beneficence should be practiced by the nurses’ to ensure the comfort of the patients (Minogue et al. P 129). It is the responsibility of the nurses to provide that they show compassion by prioritizing the safety and needs of their patients. The nurses, therefore, play an essential role in promoting the ethical principles when dealing with critically ill patients or unique situations.

In some instances, patients in the hospitals are forced to maintain their principle of autonomy to make decisions that can never be influenced. During such occasions, the nurses are obliged to respect the decisions made by the patients. Treating such patients becomes difficult especially when their values and beliefs conflict with the nurses’ personal opinions and values (Butts et al. P 13). There have been cases where patients make decisions that are not safe. Such decisions include refusing medication, going against life-saving procedures or even denying treatment for their babies. Such real-life cases in most situations put the nurses in an ethical dilemma. When treatment is not performed to patients because of the nurse’s opinions, the nurses would be violating the principle of beneficence.

In another perspective, ignoring the patient’s wishes denies them the principle of autonomy. Despite the challenging situation, nurses have the responsibility of asking questions, seeking help from their superiors, and even their peers if appropriate. The Toulmin Model of Argument, however, has three vital elements namely the warrant, claim, and ground (Mayberry, P 175). The warrant element enables one to have reasoning that has a sense of a claim. The ground consists of proof of the different forms of people reasoning. A claim brings out the point of the arguer. When nurses undergo ethical dilemma, the first model of the argument becomes very influential in making decisions (Hitchcock, P 265).

An example where a mother prevents the treatment of her baby, nurses can use their practical reasoning skills to convince the mother to allow them to treat the child. Warrant that favors logical reasoning to the nurse and the mother. The Toulmin Model of Argument has its strengths and weaknesses. The advantages include the ability to minimize unfortunate circumstances from people and maximize positive benefits like perfect health. Another one consists of the ability of people to practice preciseness to support their respective claims. The weakness of the model can also be manifested through the availability of avoidable circumstances caused by omissions or commissions. Exclusions often affect the model because the nurses should take care of their patients.

The fundamental principle of ethics is among the guidelines that determine the development of ethical people. As a result of individuals finding themselves in moral dilemmatic situations, people are expected to execute actions that will be of greater importance to them and to the others for the sake of harmonious co-existence. The Toulmin argument, however, comes to help the people in dilemma situations by involving the three principles of claim, warrant and ground to influence reasoning. Therefore, it is clear that when confronted with dilemma situations, the person will be in a position practice positive ethics when using the Toulmin Model of Argument.

Works Cited

Butts, Janie B, and Karen Rich. Nursing Ethics: Across the Curriculum and into Practice. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett, 2005. Print.

Corey, Gerald, Marianne S. Corey, and Patrick Callanan. Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions. Australia: Brooks/Cole/Thomson Learning, 2007. Australia; Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole/Thomson Learning, ©2007

Hitchcock, David, and Bart Verheij. Arguing on the Toulmin Model: New Essays in Argument Analysis and Evaluation. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006.

Lo, Bernard. Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Print.

Mayberry, Katherine J. Everyday Arguments: A Guide to Writing and Reading Effective Arguments. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Print.

Minogue, Brendan, Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, and James E. Reagan. Reading Engelhardt: Essays on the Thought of H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr. Dordrecht: Springer, 1997.

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