NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Applying Ethical Principles

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Applying Ethical Principles

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 2 Applying Ethical Principles

Health care professionals’ encounters face various ethical dilemmas in their professional career that can range from patient advocacy to whether reporting an inappropriate action of a co-worker. Nurses are often faced with ethical decision makings. Hence nurses or any health care professionals must be able to understand how to make good decisions by applying ethical principles. To best navigate the challenges, health care workers need to follow four fundamental of ethics that are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. 

Overview of the case study 

In the case study” Incident 10: To vaccinate or not” (Capella, 2022) analyzes the decision that the Smith family taking for their five-day old newborn, Ana, who was born in the community hospital without any complications. Jenna and Chris Smith bonded well with their newborn during her first few days. During the initial pediatric appointment with Dr. Kerr, both parents, who are college educated, expressed their desire of raising Ana as naturally as possible by doing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, preparing baby food only with organic foods and not allowing Ana to be vaccinated. They told Dr. Kerr that they have done their research by doing internet research and online mommy blogs. They decided that the risk outweighed the benefits. 

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Dr. Kerr listens to their concerns and then gives them her professional opinion. She respects the beliefs of Jenna and Chris Smith and explained to them about the importance of vaccination and discussed about the myths that parents brought up about vaccines causing autism. Dr. Kerr explains how vaccines saved lives and widely responsible for decreasing child mortality by providing data such as decrease incidence of influenza and measles outbreak. Dr. Kerr provided information on safety of vaccination and explained about the vaccine safety portal, a program that runs by the Food and Drug administration and Centers for Disease control and prevention, which can be accessible to the public readily. This portal allows transparency and allow public and health care professionals to report any adverse effects of vaccine. Lastly, Dr. Kerr discussed the herd community and how it benefits. 

The Smiths listened to Dr. Kerr’s explanation, but they still expressed their desire to raise Ana as natural as possible, which includes no vaccination. Dr. Kerr is unsure what to do at the end of the appointment. 

Analysis of Ethical Principles 

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In this case study, ethical dilemma arises when Ana’s parents decide not to vaccinate her due to the potential risk outweighing the benefits. Dr. Kerr’s beliefs are different from Ana’s parents, Jenna and Chris. As a health care professional, Dr. Kerr is challenged by the decision of Ana’s parents since Dr. Kerr believes that it’s her obligation to immunize children in order to prevent any preventable disease. 

Dr. Kerr has to explain the benefits and risks to parents who seem to continue with the desire of raising Ana naturally. In the peer review article, “The influence of political ideology and Trust on willingness to vaccinate (Baumgaertner, et. al 2018), people are influenced by religion, culture, government and the amount of information that accessible. Consequently, many parents give greater weight to the risks of vaccines than the benefits. 

Analyzing the case study with Ethical decision-making model 

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 2 Applying Ethical Principles

The ethical decision-making model is based upon three components that include moral awareness, moral judgement and ethical behavior (Capella, 2022). Moral awareness is recognizing the existence of ethical dilemma. In this case study, Dr. Kerr is facing the dilemma when Ana’s parents decide not to vaccinate their child. Once an issue is identified, moral judgement is the next step. It is an approach to reach a decision or resolution by identifying facts and specific questions related to ethical principles. Dr. Kerr explained to Smiths the importance of vaccinations and the data’s how the vaccine reduces the rate of various disease outbreak. These two components lead to the third component – ethical behavior. Dr. Kerr listened to Smiths and try to educate them more by providing useful resources. Dr. Kerr provided reliable websites that monitored by the federal government. 

Effectiveness of communication approach in case study 

Communication is a key element when educating clients. In the case study, Dr. Kerr actively listened to Ana’s parents and their concerns about vaccination/ immunization. Dr. Kerr’s communication to Ana’s parents was non-judgmental and informative. She discussed the benefits of receiving vaccination not only for Ana but also explained how it will be beneficial to some children who have weakened immune systems because of genetic diseases or cancer treatment. Dr. Kerr explained the vaccine adverse event reporting system program in detail hoping this ease their minds. In the article, motivational interviewing and vaccine acceptance in children: The motive study, “addressing health beliefs through patient-centered communication approaches such as motivational interviewing may improve vaccine confidence (Cole, J et.al, 2022).

Even though Dr. Kerr used effective communication skills, she was unable to convince Ana’s parents. Dr. Kerr could have used other communication techniques such as reading materials. This could have provided with information for them to review at a later time and would have given opportunity to do more research using more reliable websites. 

Resolving Ethical dilemmas by applying ethical principles

In this case study, Dr. Kerr’s recommendation having Ana being vaccinated causes the ethical dilemma. Dr. Kerr believes the vaccine would be best for Ana whereas Ana’s parents chose to raise her naturally as possible and didn’t consent to get Ana vaccinated. To best navigate these challenges, health care workers need to follow four fundamentals of ethics -autonomy, beneficence, non- maleficence and justice. Autonomy states the patient has the right to make the decision for themselves. Beneficence means acting in the best interest of the patient. Non maleficence means do not harm intentionally, and the justice emphasizes fairness and equality among individuals. For this case study, the ethical dilemma conflicts begin with autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence. Dr. Kerr respects Ana’s parents’ beliefs and listens to them attentively (autonomy). Even though, Dr. Kerr respects their beliefs, she tries to educate Ana’s parents about vaccination and its benefits (beneficence). Furthermore, Dr. Kerr utilizing the principle of non-maleficence when she informs Jenna and Chris that vaccine protects young children or sick children who are to unable to receive any vaccine due to their medical condition. This points out Dr. Kerr’s commitment to the welfare of the community and as well as to her other clients. Dr. Kerr, as a physician, she has to make sure no one is unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to access healthcare (Justice).

Dr. Kerr followed all the principles. Listening to Smith’s concerns during each visit and providing education during each pediatrician visit may help to resolve this issue. By implementing this approach, the parents will have more time to review and they may feel to change their decision as they do more research. 

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Health care professionals face ethical dilemmas on a day by day basis. This issue can be handled efficiently by applying ethical principles. In this case study, the ethical dilemma was that parents declined to get their five-day old newborn get vaccinated despite of well explanation and rationale from their daughter’s pediatrician, Dr. Kerr. In order to resolve this dilemma, Dr. Kerr would have adhered to the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. 


Baumgaertner, B., Carlisle, J E., Justwan, F (2018). The influence of political ideology and trust on willingness to vaccinate. PLOS ONE 13(1): e0191728.

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 1 Attempt 2 Applying Ethical Principles


Capella University (2022). Incident 10: To vaccinate or not? https://media.capella.edu/CourseMedia/nhs4000element18655/wrapper.asp  

Cole, J., Teegala, Y., (March 15,2022). Motivational interviewing and vaccine acceptance in children: The MOTIVE study. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.01.058