Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice

Scenario 1

In everyday practice, nurses face a variety of ethical issues that are complicated to solve. Facing patient’s interests and medical concerns, it is oftentimes hard to make the right decision. Moral uncertainty and worry can lead to moral distress of nurses which is a feeling associated with a sense of responsibility and a sense of powerlessness (Landry, 2017). With a 19-year-old patient with schizophrenia, the nurse, according to the principles of autonomy, should respect personal freedom and the right to make decisions. However, marriage has complex relationships with mental illness and leads to various outcomes (Grover et al., 2019). Following the principle of non-maleficence, it is hard to agree for a nurse to witness the wedding procedure as marriage can worsen the condition of the patient.

Judging from different sides of ethical decision-making, it is essential to assess which choice will bring less harm because the main principle in medicine remains primum non nocere. According to Milton (2020), ethics demands respect for the freedom to choose and the honoring of others’ wishes. Still, medical workers possess a bigger amount of knowledge that can help not harm the patient and taking his side lead to worsening of his condition and medical treatment results.

Scenario 2.1

The biopsychosocial approach explains the cumulative effect of three factors influencing the potential outcome: illness developing. According to the model, biological, psychological, and social issues lay in the origins of sickness. Various studies have been evaluating maternal postpartum depression, however, the same condition from the other parent tends to increase. In contrast to former generations, men are expected to be more involved in the process of pregnancy, birth, infant care, and child-rearing (Kumar et al., 2017). It might create a special tension on men that historically were out hunting instead of participating in childbirth and care.

Moreover, the idea of having a child sometimes does not come from both sides, and psychologically, a man might not be ready for a new family member. Unexpected pregnancy leads to the same effect when a couple, willing to take responsibility, were not ready for consequences. Father’s postpartum depression can also be caused by anxiety disorder caused by lack of sleep, stress, and many other issues.

Scenario 2.2

Children’s sleeping disorders are very spread especially when parents try to break a bad habit of sleeping with them. Following a healthy sleeping routine can help avoid nightmares and bad experiences at night. From a psychological perspective, there was found significant associations between sleep behaviors and mental health problems among adolescents (Zhang et al., 2017). From a social point of view, according to the study by Lebowitz et al. (2019), family adaptation correlates with nightmares and sleep-connected issues among impatient children.

Among adolescents, the issue of night texting and looking at the phone screen in bed impacts the subsequent quality of sleep. The light from the screen perceived by the pupil might influence circadian rhythms and break the sleeping routine. Assessing nightmares of children of different ages, it is important to find the clue reason for stimulating the disorder. Family accommodation, mental health problems, or bad sleeping routines are the leading factors on the way.

Scenario 2.3

Elderly difficult behavior is one of the symptoms causing the range of disorders studied by gerontology. Learning how to behave with aged patients is essential in everyday nursing practice as it is causing misunderstandings and complicated occasions. Senile dementia is one of the possible reasons for the resentful reaction of the patient as due to its progression it causes dualism in decision-making. Socially, an old woman might feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the new environment and conditions.

Trying to avoid the stress from moving and meeting new people, she can express it with aggressiveness and irritation. Social help can be a major interactive dynamic for health, and medical workers should consider this connection in society health and well‐being (Lehman et al., 2017). Care and support might help the old woman adapt in a new atmosphere and feel better. However, if these symptoms persist, it is essential to look for some mental or psychological disorder.


Grover, S., Kumar, P., Sharma, N., & Ghai, S. (2019). Perception about marriage among caregivers of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 41(5), 440. doi:10.4103/ijpsym.ijpsym_18_19

Kumar, S. V., Oliffe, J. L., & Kelly, M. T. (2017). Promoting postpartum mental health in fathers: Recommendations for nurse practitioners. American Journal of Men’s Health, 12(2), 221–228.doi:10.1177/1557988317744712

Landry, C. (2017). Not knowing the “right thing to do:” Moral distress and tolerating uncertainty in medicine. Clinical Ethics, 12, 37-44.

Lebowitz, E. R., Shimshoni, Y., & Silverman, W. K. (2019). Family accommodation mediates nightmares and sleep-related problems in anxious children. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 62, 94–99. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2019.01.004

Lehman, B. J., David, D. M., & Gruber, J. A. (2017). Rethinking the biopsychosocial model of health: Understanding health as a dynamic system. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(8), e12328. doi:10.1111/spc3.12328

Milton C. L. (2020). Consequences for straight thinking in Nursing Ethics. Nursing Science Quarterly, 33(3), 215-216. doi:10.1177/0894318420920619

Zhang, J., Xu, Z., Zhao, K., Chen, T., Ye, X., Shen, Z., Zengjiang, W., Zhang, J., Xiaoming, S., & Li, S. (2017). Sleep habits, sleep problems, sleep hygiene, and their associations with Mental health problems among adolescents. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 24(3), 223–234. doi:10.1177/1078390317715315

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NursingBird. (2022) 'Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice'. 3 September.


NursingBird. 2022. "Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice." September 3, 2022.

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NursingBird. "Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice." September 3, 2022.