Ethical Dilemma in Pediatric Patients

Ethical Dilemma in Pediatric Patients


Olukemi Adekunle

Chamberlain College of Nursing

(1.608 Words)





Ethical Dilemma in Pediatric Patients


The purpose of this paper is to discuss ethical dilemma in pediatric patients and how these dilemmas affect their caregivers. Children in the entire United States are diagnosed with terminal diseases everyday. Once medical treatments begin and no improvement is seen in the quality of life of the child, family would be advised to consider a do not resuscitate order.  According to Baker et al, “ A do not resuscitate order is intended to protect the patient from resuscitative efforts that are not wanted by the patient and family” (2013). As a program director at an Intermediate Care facility (ICF) pediatric unit, do not resuscitate status often come into discussion, and it is an uncomfortable topic to discuss  for some of the nurses at the unit. A do not resuscitate order on a child can sometimes cause an internal ethical dilemma for some nurses. Children are seen as lively individuals, and are supposed to outlive their elders. Also there are many myths surrounding do not resuscitate orders with both family members and members of the healthcare team. Some people believe that do not resuscitate orders mean do not treat, when in actuality do not resuscitate orders only describe resuscitation wishes. Do not resuscitate orders can in fact comply with all seven nursing ethical principles. Ethical theory can be applied to a do not resuscitate order, and the ethical dilemma of dealing with a child with a do not resuscitate order is discussed and how to resolve it.


Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

One of the main nursing ethical principles is beneficence. Beneficence means to act in the best interest of the patient (Burkhardt

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