Evaluation of Ethical Theories and/or Principles and their Application in Critical Health and/or Social Care Setting
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An Acute and critical clinical scenario involving life threatening conditions that requires high degree of accuracy with a very small allowable error margin calls for a quick judgement and response from intellectually and emotionally prepared social care professionals ( Stannard, Benner & Kyriakidis 2011 p. 1). In this situation, all the ethical principles are found to be in conflict with each other, necessitating the professional to use ethical theory to enable him/her in determining the relevant principle applicable in that particular situation through metalevel evaluation of all the possible clinical decisions with all their possible consequences and not merely on consequences only ( Zygmond & Boorhem 1989 p. 5).
Critical Evaluation of Application of Ethical Principles in solving the identified ethical dilemma
According to Stannard, Benner and Kyriakidis (2011), acute and critical patient conditions demands that the social care professionals respond with thinking-in-action (clinical reasoning while on the move). All the moral problems arising out of this situation must be dealt with autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence through careful identification, analysis and resolution whilst combating the problem at hand (Mueller, Hook & Fleming 2004 p. 554). According to Kitchener’s (1985) model as put forth by Zygmond and Boorhem (1989), critical-evaluative level reasoning, comprising of ethical rules, principles and theory, generates the required knowledge to be used in clarification, change and modification of beliefs as regard to attitudes, behaviours and perceptions of both the client and the Health/Social worker professional.
The appropriate actions to be taken should be preceded with ethical principles originating from the declaration of Helsinki that states that; in times of acute and critical conditions, the patient should be handled with respect, his/her needs coming first, be given the right to self-determination and the right to make informed decisions (Glod 2008 p.27).
a. Application of Consequentialism Principle and/or Theory of Ethics in Critical Health/Social Scenarios
Hammond (1992) while quoting Sen (1987) gives an overview of Consequentialism as being the judgement of a given action as either being right/good or wrong/bad by solely basing the judgement on the resultant consequences that comes out of that action and not in the action itself or anything else (p. 12). Consequentialism therefore requires that all the resultant consequences be assessed first and be weighted as either being harmful or beneficial to the client while overlooking the action itself. If the beneficial consequences are found to outweigh the harmful ones, then the action is justified otherwise it should be...