Phillip September 17, 2023 No Comments

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 – Applying Ethical Principles

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles


Capella university

NHS FPX4000 Developing a Health Care Perspective

Prof. Name


Applying Ethical Principles

Healthcare professionals often encounter ethical dilemmas in their daily work, necessitating decisions based on moral convictions and values. Autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice are the four fundamental principles used by healthcare practitioners to guide decision-making. The concept of prima facie, coined by the English philosopher W. D. Ross, suggests that a moral principle is valid unless it conflicts with another moral principle, in which case a decision must be made (Othman & Hamid, 2018).

Overview of the Case Study

E.L Straight, the newly appointed head of medical practitioners, has implemented several policies aimed at improving patient care. Upon joining, he observed a lack of key policies affecting the hospital’s quality of care. While his changes have shown positive results, the senior staff surgeons at Hopewell, who have been there for many years, remain unimpressed with the clinical expertise. E.L Straight’s actions have stirred discontent among many individuals. Although he initially recognized his lack of qualifications and attempted to address the situation, he hesitated due to Dr. Cutrite’s adeptness at political maneuvering. Consequently, Straight chose to prioritize self-preservation over addressing the issue further (NURS FPX4000 Assessment 1: Applying Ethical Principles).

In an incident, Dr. Cutrite, during surgery, inadvertently left a needle protector inside a patient’s belly. This error was brought to his attention by a nurse supervisor who noticed the missing needle protector in the surgery remnants. The patient had already been discharged when the error was discovered, prompting E.L Straight, the Head, to call the patient back for a crucial surgical checkup. However, Dr. Cutrite dismissed the severity of the situation, refusing to acknowledge the potential harm caused to the patient. This ethical lapse left E.L Straight astonished and deeply troubled (NURS FPX4000 Assessment 1: Applying Ethical Principles).

Analysis of Ethical Issue in the Case Study

In this case study, the director E.L Straight grapples with an ethical dilemma arising from the conflict between the hospital’s interests and the patient’s wellbeing. E.L Straight is primarily concerned with the patient’s health and advocates for the removal of the plastic cap from the patient’s belly. Conversely, other medical personnel at the hospital resist taking action. This leaves E.L Straight in a state of apprehension. While he acknowledges the hospital’s concern for its reputation, E.L Straight believes it is essential to prioritize the patient’s wellbeing and views the situation as unethical (Darr et al., 2017).

Applying Ethical Principles

The International Patient Decision Aid Standards (IPDAS) were utilized to determine primary and secondary outcomes related to decision-making processes and their effects. The study aims to shed light on ethical and legal issues in geriatric care, providing healthcare professionals with insights into handling current complaints and potential solutions for caring for elderly patients (Stacey et al., 2018).

In medical practice, three key elements of the decision-making model are often utilized:

  1. Moral Awareness
  2. Moral Judgment
  3. Ethical Behavior

The moral awareness approach evaluates actions based on their overall impact rather than underlying moral laws or principles or a person’s character. On the other hand, the moral judgment approach emphasizes a patient’s right to information and participation in care planning and delivery, involving steps such as framing the problem, describing possibilities, finding a solution, implementing it, and reflecting on the entire process (Doherty, 2020).

Utilizing the ethical behavior approach, one must assess a situation’s compliance with laws, the patient’s responsibilities, and whether it is fair and balanced to determine its ethicality (Price & Cohen, 2019).

In the presented case, E.L Straight’s ethical dilemma stems from the conflict between the principles of non-maleficence and justice. He prioritizes the patient’s health and their right to a surgery without any residual health issues, making the ethical dilemma even more pronounced (Morley et al., 2020).

Effectiveness of Communication Approaches in Case Study

Effective communication among healthcare professionals and with patients is crucial for ensuring optimal care and resolving ethical dilemmas. Research indicates a strong positive correlation between a patient’s ability to comply with medical advice and the communication skills of healthcare team members (Stacey et al., 2018).

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

In this case study, the nurse supervisor demonstrated effective communication by promptly identifying and reporting the error to the director. However, E.L Straight’s suggestion to address the issue was not effectively communicated and implemented within the hospital hierarchy, leading to frustration. Dr. Cutrite’s reluctance to address the issue and discourage its discussion further indicates a lack of effective communication skills (Doherty, 2020).

Resolving The Ethical Dilemma by Applying Ethical Principles

To address healthcare-related ethical dilemmas, healthcare professionals often utilize four ethical principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. In this case, the conflict revolves around the principles of non-maleficence and justice, where prioritizing patient well-being conflicts with the hospital’s reputation (Morley et al., 2020).

NURS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

One potential resolution to this ethical dilemma is to involve healthcare organizations such as UNICEF, WHO, or local health bodies to shed light on the situation. The issue needs to be addressed and rectified in alignment with ethical standards and regulations (Morley et al., 2020).


In healthcare, ethical decision-making is guided by principles such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. In the case of E.L Straight, the ethical dilemma revolves around upholding patient rights and preserving the hospital’s reputation. To navigate this ethical dilemma, adherence to the principles of autonomy, beneficence, and non-maleficence is essential (Doherty, 2020).


Darr, K., Farnsworth, T. J., & Myrtle, R. C. (2017). Cases in health services management.

Doherty, R. F. (2020). Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Morley, J., Machado, C., Burr, C., Cowls, J., Joshi, I., Taddeo, M., & Floridi, L. (2020). The ethics of AI in health care: A mapping review. Social Science & Medicine, 260, 113172.

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

Othman, Z., & Hamid, F. Z. A. (2018). Dealing with an (expected) ethical dilemma: Experience from the field. The Qualitative Report, 23(4), 733-741.

Price, W. N., & Cohen, I. G. (2019). Privacy in the age of medical big data. Nature Medicine, 25(1), 37-43.

NHS FPX 4000 Assessment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

Stacey, D., Légaré, F., Lewis, K., Barry, M. J., Bennett, C. L., Eden, K. B., … & Trevena, L. (2018). Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decisions. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 4(4), CD001431.