Excelsior College Ethics for Health Professionals Discussion

Part I: Your Ethical Framework

In your opinion. 

When you are faced with an ethical dilemma, what do you consider in making a decision? Describe your “ethical processes” or “ethical framework” (i.e. what steps you take in making an ethical decision).  

 Part II: Using the Frameworks to Analyze Ethical Dilemmas

Apply what you know. 

  • Textbook

Stanford, C. C. & Connor, V. J. (2019) 2nd edition. Chapter 1: An Overview of Ethics, p 12-16, In Ethics for health professionals. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Doherty, R.F. & Purtilo, R. (2016). Chapter 4 Ethics Theories and Approaches, p. 72-87 and 95-102 and Chapter 5: A Six-Step Process of Ethical Decision-Making, 106-119, Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions. 6th ed. St. Louis, MS: Elsevier.

The readings provide an overview of two ethical frameworks to use in decision-making in the healthcare setting. Let’s unpack the ethical dilemma(s) presented in the Grey’s Anatomy episode as we respond to the following questions.

The ethical dilemma that you should focus on is the scenario of the pregnant woman and her request to have her tubes tied.

This video can be found in a number of areas including Hulu and ABC.go.  The links below share a summary and transcripts of the episode.

Grey’s Anatomy: Season 2, Episode 23 (summary) (Links to an external site.) (transcripts) (Links to an external site.)

I’ll guide us through. We will discuss the questions as a group, starting with the first question:

Decide with your classmates what are the ethical dilemmas presented in this episode?  

  • Discuss who are the stakeholders in this episode?  Remember to consider individuals, families, communities, and organizations in your answer.  

Come to a consensus on what your recommendations would be for handling the situation? Consider and include each component below in your response: 

Ethical principles

Ethical theories

PYTHON principle

  • Six step process (Doherty & Purtilo) for ethical decision-making

How might your recommendations change the outcome presented in this episode?

Expert Solution Preview


As a medical professor, when faced with an ethical dilemma, the decision-making process involves considering various factors to ensure ethical practices and provide the best possible care to patients. In this paper, we will discuss the ethical framework used for making decisions in the healthcare setting and apply it to a scenario from Grey’s Anatomy.

Part I: Your Ethical Framework

In making an ethical decision, it is important to consider the ethical framework followed. Several steps are taken to make the final decision. First, it is crucial to identify the ethical dilemma, assess the situation and collect relevant information. Then the ethical principles, ethical theories and PYTHON principle are taken into consideration for making a decision. Lastly, the decision is made considering all the above factors and the feasibility of the decision.

Part II: Using the Frameworks to Analyze Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Dilemma:
The ethical dilemma presented in Grey’s Anatomy is the scenario where a pregnant patient requests to have her tubes tied, but the doctor initially refuses, stating it goes against their religious beliefs.

The stakeholders involved in the scenario include the pregnant patient, the doctor, the hospital, medical professionals, and religious organizations.

Our recommendations for handling the scenario are as follows:

Ethical principles:
The ethical principles that should be considered in this scenario are autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice.

Ethical theories:
Utilitarianism can be applied in this scenario, where the decision should be made based on what produces the most happiness for the majority. Additionally, the Deontological theory emphasises that certain actions are intrinsically right or wrong, regardless of the outcome.

PYTHON Principle:
The PYTHON principle should be taken into consideration, meaning that the decision should be made to preserve the health of the patient.

Six-step process:
The six-step process for ethical decision-making should include the following steps:
– Identify the problem
– Gather information
– Identify the ethical principles involved
– Develop possible solutions
– Evaluate the solutions
– Implement the chosen solution

If these recommendations were implemented in the scenario presented, it is likely that the outcome will positively affect the patient and lead to a high level of satisfaction. Additionally, it ensures the healthcare provider is acting ethically, providing the best possible care and upholding the patients’ autonomy.

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