Today’s health care environment gives nurses many reasons to be conflicted. Genetic
testing, abortion, and end of life care are just some of the areas in which nurses may face
ethical dilemmas. Consider how you feel about the following issues:

• Respecting the wishes of a suffering client that he is permitted to die with dignity,
• Respecting the health surrogate’s wishes regarding termination of life support,
• Or even observing another nurse take two tablets of oxycodone as ordered but

keeping one for herself.

Then give an example of an ethical dilemma you may have confronted in your own clinical
experience or workplace. How did you come to the decision you made? What feelings did
you experience while coming to that choice? (If you have not yet faced an ethical dilemma,
research one and comment on it, answering the same questions.)