Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay

Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay

Ethical Issues in Psychiatric Mental Health Practice

Ethical principles are values are morals that defend the conduct of practice. Medical ethics stresses principles such as professionalism, privacy and confidentiality, respect for human rights, and access to medical care. The unique nature of mental illness presents with stigma and socio-economic disadvantages. Therefore, there is a need for ethical standards in the management of psychiatric patients. Psychiatrists should maintain the principles of confidentiality, beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. Privacy and confidentiality come in when the practitioner confines the information shared by the relatives and the workmates unless with permission from the patient (Hsiao, et al, 2019). Privacy and confidentiality prevent stigma. A mentally challenged patient cannot make medical decisions. The role of a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) is to promote the best interest of the patient and prevent harm. These are the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. This helps to promote a good prognosis in mental health. The PMHNP should respect the patient’s interest, individual, and cultural sensitivity. Obtain informed consent from the patient for treatment. The patient has a right to knowledge about their treatment and their illness.

Ethical Issue And Dilemma

Often, psychiatric patients especially those suffering from schizophrenia and depressive mood disorder, have poor decision-making skills. This causes poor health outcomes due to poor behavior. A PMHNP decides for the patient including the medication the patient should take and disclose the patient’s mental health status to his immediate family (Hsiao, et al, 2019). By doing this, the nurse is violating the principle of privacy and confidentiality, informed consent, and autonomy. Despite ethical violations for that patient, the nurses ensure the patient gets the best medical attention. In this situation, the nurse takes the best interest of the patient by giving medication to improve the mental status, the monitor for the progress, and drug adverse effects to ensure safety for the patient. Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay


States Health Law and Regulations

The government works together with the state to make decisions about their mental health systems. The state sets rules and regulations in protecting, funding, and researching mental health. The state sets rules and regulations for the treatment providers, schools, and companies (Hedman, et al, 2016). It sets a standard for privacy and prohibits disclosing patient’s personal information. It also protects their rights like access to medical attention, protection from harm, fighting abuse, eliminating barriers and discrimination, and promoting civil liberties and inclusion. These rules and regulations have to be followed to the latter.

The Ethical Decision-Making Process in This Dilemma

An ethical dilemma is a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two courses of action. To make the right decision, the nurse needs to follow a few steps to develop a comprehensive lens of handling ethical disputes. The nurse should identify the ethical issue, consult the resources, and seek assistance. In this situation, he or she should involve the multidisciplinary team to make the decision. The nurse should evaluate the long-lasting effects of the ethical principle, note the ethical rules and regulations in other industries, decide on a make a decision, implement, and evaluate the decision (Heeler, et al, 2016). In this situation, the principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, and right to medical attention out-weights the violated principles of respect for autonomy, informed consent, and confidentiality.

Practicum Journal Entry: Analyzing an Ethical Decision


In your role as a PMHNP, you will encounter several situations that will require your ability to make sound judgments and practice decisions for the safety and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. There may not be a clear-cut answer of how to address the issue, but your ethical decision making must be based on evidenced-based practice and what is good, right, and beneficial for patients. You will encounter patients who do not hold your values, but you must remain professional and unbiased in the care you provide to all patients regardless of their socio-demographic and ethnic/racial background. You must be prepared to critically analyze ethical situations and develop an appropriate plan of action. For this Assignment, you review the literature and discover the various ethical dilemmas PMHNPs encounter and how these issues are typically addressed in your state. Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze salient ethical issues in psychiatric mental health practice
  • Compare ethical dilemmas with state health laws and regulations
  • Analyze ethical decision-making processes

To prepare:

  • Review literature for moral/ethical issues encountered by a PMHNP.
  • Select one of the articles you found that was published within the last 5 years to use as a focus for this assignment.

Write a 2-page paper in which you do the following:

  • Summarize the moral/ethical issue in the article (no more than 1 paragraph).
  • Describe the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding the issue.
  • Analyze the ethical issue and compare them to the state health laws and regulations in your state.
  • Outline the process of ethical decision making you would use to address this ethical dilemma.


Heyler, S. G., Armenakis, A. A., Walker, A. G., & Collier, D. Y. (2016). A qualitative study investigating the ethical decision making process: A proposed model. The Leadership Quarterly27(5), 788-801.

Hedman, L. C., Petrila, J., Fisher, W. H., Swanson, J. W., Dingman, D. A., & Burris, S. (2016). State laws on emergency holds for mental health stabilization. Psychiatric Services67(5), 529-535.

Hsiao, C. Y., Lu, H. L., & Tsai, Y. F. (2019). Factors Associated With Primary Family Caregivers’ Perceptions on Quality of Family‐Centered Care in Mental Health Practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship51(6), 680-688. Analyzing an Ethical Decision Essay

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