The essay needs to clearly focus on one case the student has cared for in clinical practice. The assignment should offer a clear structure that is logical, sequential, and systematically progressive in nature.
The context and content should reflect a contrast and balance of ideas, and reasoning to support the module learning outcomes:
2. Interpret and apply current health and social care policy.
3. Analyse and address ethical challenges relating to people’s choices and decision-making about their care, including vulnerable people across the lifespan.
4. Appraise the nurse’s role in managing issues of law and social policy.
Please do not breach confidentiality by identifying the name of the person/ child or any family members or the location of the clinical setting. Change personal details to protect confidentiality and state this in your introduction. Any contravention of confidentiality will result in an automatic fail.
Suggested assignment guidelines
The introduction begins with a general statement to introduce the main subject area and to set the context for the discussion. The introduction offers the reader a broad background of information into your key ethical challenges and outlines all the ideas you are going to present in the assignment, such as:
·A statement/ definition of the importance of the topic and the context ,background of and care delivery
·Introduce how you will structure the work linked to the learning outcomes
·Introduce the service user/child you have chosen
·Include statements dealing with confidentiality were necessary
Impact of all of the above on ability to make decisions for self.
You may choose to use on of the pre-prepared case studies available to you on Moodle or work with your seminar leader to create your own based on a particular interest or your experience in practice.
Key ethical challenges The identification of the key ethical challenges starts the main body of the assignment where your paragraphs will develop your discussion and ideas to demonstrate your knowledge of the topic, by including relevant evidence, analyse and evaluate your material, such as:-
·Mental capacity- how much input did the person/child have into decision making and why?
·What were the challenges to the person/child receiving care in making treatment choices?
·Were the individual’s human rights respected and if not, why not?
·Was there conflict between treating teams and the person/child and/or family/significant others regarding preferred options for care
Please consider the learning outcomes when writing your report. Discuss the concept of ethical decision making in the context of nursing. Discuss the use of ethical frameworks and present reasoning for your preferred model (s).
Utilise your preferred ethical model(s)/principles from the module as a framework for aiding decision making and identifying key issues regarding this person/child’s treatment. In each step of the framework you should drawing on relevant policy/guidelines and legislation/case law to critically discuss each step of the decision making process- how do they apply and how influential are they (details below) You should also refer to the role of the nurse in each stage of your framework where applicable (see section below).
You should also try and demonstrate knowledge of other ethical theories and ethical concepts relevant to your case, for example, Utilitarianism and Consequentialism, Deontology/Duty based ethics, Virtue Ethics, ‘Truth Telling’. The concept of Paternalism is always a poignant consideration for many case studies especially when involving vulnerable patients/service users.
Consider the role of the nurse within concepts of advocacy, assessment of capacity and professional obligations/duties to do so. You will be referring to this throughout the assignment however it may also be helpful to discuss this in more detail in a separate section just before the conclusion (avoid unnecessary repetition however! Think carefully about your structure- it’s always a good idea to map out your assignment first).
Accountability and Advocacy.
Risk of Paternalism?
Virtue Ethics/The need for nurse to be ethical practitioners/Compassion Fatigue?
Are there limitations to the nurses’ role within decision making?
How is this relevant to the changing role of the nurse and future standards of education and proficiencies/competencies?
How can conflict best be resolved?