The Kerridge, Lowe and McPhee model (2005) suggests seven steps for decision-making. The first step is stating the problem while the second step is about getting the facts about the problem (Freegard, 2006). The case study reviews the problem and the later part of the essay provides an evaluation of the ethical issue in accordance with the model.
The case scenario relates the account of a seventeen year old girl Judy who had been admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) with acute medical pain. Judy’s provisional diagnosis was Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) until the doctors got the report for her medical tests taken in the ED. The main issues of the case study are given in the table below.
“she can’t be in that much pain, she rolls over to sleep when she thinks we are not watching her, yet soon as she sees us she asks for Morphine… if she is going to get herself an infection then she should live with the consequences”
The negligence, lack of documentation of charts and prompt response to patient, discrimination and absence of proper care and compassion, lack of compliance to instructions of DMO by the nurses are some of the legal issues. They also let personal biases prejudice their care, as pelvic inflammatory disease is often caused by sexual intercourse, an assumption that has led the nurse to treat Judy disdainfully. They were also not cooperative with their colleague, Sue, and derided her. There was no follow up on ectopic pregnancy, which, as it turned out later, was the underlying cause of the severe abdominal pain.
The third step in Kerridge, Lowe and McPhee model of decision-making entails analysis of the fundamental ethical principles. A framework to analyze the fundamental ethical principles commonly used in bioethics, called principlism, includes four guiding principles: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice (Butts & Rich, 2005). Anwari (2008) states that beneficence and non-maleficence are old concepts