Essay: Moral beliefs

Essay: Moral beliefs

Essay: Moral beliefs

Think about the reflection in your textbook regarding the sources of your moral beliefs. Who or what are 3 sources that have influenced your moral beliefs? Describe the impact of those beliefs on your nursing practice.

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Paper must be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources that is less than 5 years old.
Book below must be used as one of the reference:

READ!!! Purtilo, R. & Doherty, R. (2016). Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions (6th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780323328920
Chapters 3, 4, and 5

The reader should be able to:

• Recognize an ethical question and distinguish it from a strictly clinical or legal one.

• Identify three component parts of any ethical problem.

• Describe what an agent is and, more importantly, what it is to be a moral agent.

• Name two prototypical ethical problems.

• Distinguish between two varieties of moral distress.

• Compare the fundamental difference between moral distress and an ethical dilemma. Essay: Moral beliefs

• Describe the role of emotions in moral distress and ethical dilemmas.

• Describe a type of ethical dilemma that challenges a professional’s desire (and duty) to treat everyone fairly and equitably.

• Discuss the role of locus of authority considerations in ethical problem solving.

• Identify four criteria to assist in deciding who should assume authority for a specific ethical decision to achieve a caring response.

• Describe how shared agency functions in ethical problem solving.


legal question

disability benefits

ethical question


clinical question


moral agent

locus of authority

shared agency

moral distress

moral residue

ethical dilemma

Topics in this chapter introduced in earlier chapters


Introduced in chapter

Ethical problem




Interprofessional care team


Professional responsibility


A caring response




Social determinants of care





You have come a long way already and are prepared to take the next steps toward becoming skilled in the art of ethical decision making. The first part of this chapter guides you through an inquiry regarding how to know when you are faced with an ethical question instead of (or in addition to) a clinical or legal question. A further question is raised: How do you know whether the situation that raised the question is a problem that requires your involvement? This chapter helps you prepare to answer that question too. You will learn the basic components of an ethical problem and be introduced to two prototypes of ethical problems. We start with the story of Bill Boyd and Kate Lindy.

 The Story of Bill Boyd and Kate Lindy

Bill Boyd is a 25-year-old soldier who lives in a large city. Bill served in the U.S. Army for more than 6 years and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan for multiple military missions in the past 4 years. During his final deployment, Bill suffered a blast injury in which he sustained significant shoulder and neck trauma and a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and posttraumatic stress. He was treated in an inpatient military hospital and transitioned back to his hometown, where he moved into his childhood home with his mother. Essay: Moral beliefs

Kate Lindy is the outpatient psychologist who has been treating Bill for pain and posttraumatic stress. Bill is in a structured civilian reentry program. This competitive program is administered by a government subcontractor; its goal is to help injured veterans find meaningful careers or employment on return from the front lines. Bill reports that he is struggling with the transition to civilian life. He originally was prompt in keeping his appointments but recently has missed almost all of his sessions. Twice Bill has arrived for his appointment more than 30 minutes late and smelling of alcohol. Kate informed Bill that she could not treat him in this condition and that if he continued to arrive in this state, she would need to discontinue therapy. Bill responded to Kate and said “You have no idea what all of this is like. And don’t even go there on the alcohol; like you have never had a drink on a bad day.”

Kate is concerned about Bill. She calls his home and gets no answer. She then calls the case manager listed on his intake form. Kate tells the case manager about Bill’s regularly missed appointments (three in the last 4 weeks). She also tells the case manager that Bill has been charged for the missed visits because he has not called to cancel, which is the billing policy of the institution where Kate is employed.

The manager responds that Bill does not qualify for transitional career/employment services unless he is compliant with all outpatient care. She adds that in her experience patients like Bill have a hard time adjusting to the fact that they are no longer eligible for active duty.

The case manager says she will talk to Bill about the unacceptability of his failing to let the therapist know when he decides not to keep his appointment. In fact, if Bill keeps that up, the case manager continues, he will be kicked out of the civilian reentry program because the government cannot be expected to pay for his lack of responsibility. Kate responds that maybe Bill was unclear about the policy. The manager replies, “It doesn’t matter. He’s an army man; he knows better than that.”

A week goes by. At the scheduled time for Bill’s appointment, he again does not appear. Kate has been uneasy about the conversation with the manager, and when the time comes for her to fill out the billing slip for another missed appointment, she feels positively terrible.


Do you share Kate’s feelings that something is not right? If yes, what do you think the problem is? Jot down a few thoughts here and refer back to them as the chapter progresses. Essay: Moral beliefs


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