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Ethical principles are fundamental to health care and account for a significant role for well being of the patient and their family. Apparently, the principles might seem to be a set of rules, but in reality the welfare of the patient depends on alignment to these. It is the duty of the care providers to respect certain aspects of the patient while maintaining perfect dignity and integrity of protecting the patients’ rights. The implementation of the ethical principles helps in creating and maintaining the balance between the necessities of establishing a professional environment. In this assignment, the various ethical principles would be briefly elaborated with close reference to a case study and its impact and implications would also be highlighted. 

Case Summary

Ayesha, a 22 year old female has moved to Australia with her husband, Suman, who is 43 years old. Despite the age difference there married life is content. She is accepted into an Architecture degree and aspires to establish an architecture firm of her own. After completing her three years study she could work in a Sydney based architecture firm from where she has been offered a job. 

One day Ayesha was taken to the hospital due to dehydration, severe nausea and vomiting, which she is experiencing from past two weeks. Being from a patriarchal culture it is the male who takes all the decisions for the female counterpart. Similarly, Suman brings her to the hospital and is always by her side. 

In the meantime, Ayesha secretly tells the nurse that she suspects a case of pregnancy because she did not had her periods for six weeks. Her husband wants a baby, but it would mean a complete detachment of Ayesha’s dreams. A baby at this point of time would ruin all her desires of pursuing the Architecture course for many years. Thus, she asks the nurse to conduct pregnancy tests and if the result is positive then she prefers to go for an abortion without informing her husband. 

Without informing Suman, Ayesha is taken for the pregnancy test and the result confirms her pregnancy of four weeks. As per the legislation of the country, the medical officer determines that Ayesha is eligible for an abortion and the next procedures follow. The ward nurse misinforms Suman about the real picture. When he learns that Ayesha is taken for an operation he becomes upset as there was no consent taken from him before initiating the surgery. The team leader assists Suman telling that Ayesha is having her appendix removed as all her symptoms indicated appendicitis.          

Ethical Principles

The ethical principles guide the conduct of the doctors and nurses towards their patients, as there is not only one concern. Along with ensuring physical and mental health there are other factors as well like privacy, consent and more that are taken care by incorporation of the ethical principles. The main ethical principles in nursing are identified as confidentiality, beneficence, nonmaleficence, accountability followed by justice, fidelity, autonomy and veracity (National Abortion Federation, 2011). 

Truthfulness and confidentiality is directly aligned to the patient. Anything related to the health of the patient must be honestly conveyed to him or her no matter how bitter the news might be. It is the first rule of the profession, as observed by Jackson, Burns & Richter (2014). Confidentiality accounts for sharing the truth only with the patient and nobody else unless the patient consents the disclosure to their family members or friends, mentions McNaughton et al. (2006). 

Beneficence is the act of doing well to the patient under all circumstances. Similarly, nonmaleficence forbids care providers to cause any harm either intentionally or unintentionally to the patient (Ethical Practice: NCLEX-RN, 2019). The care providers must be accountable for their own actions. They should be well aware of the steps they are taking and the consequences it would lead to. 

One of the most important principles is fidelity that is keeping one’s promises. Following all professional standards, the nurses must be true to their word and should not undertake any step that would break their promises to the patient, as pointed out by Blightman, Griffiths & Danbury (2013). Subsequently, justice is the fair practice that has to be provided to the patients irrespective of any other considerations. Autonomy is important from the patient’s side and the nurses must oblige to their decisions. Especially, veracity is an imperative part of the ethical codes that urges medical practitioners and nurses to be transparent to their patients, remarks Jackson, Burns & Richter (2014).   

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