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Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas in Healthcare

1.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The goal/outcome of this course is for the learner to provide an overview of contemporary ethical dilemmas found in healthcare today.
$9.98
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With the advent of astounding scientific and technological advances in every area of health care, today’s health care environment is increasingly fraught with complex patient care issues. Health care professionals often have varying views on legal and ethical dilemmas that make it difficult to act in ways consistent with their own support for patient autonomy. The variation in individual state approaches to laws and professional standards, as well as specific codes of ethics makes ethical dilemmas challenging for many health care providers as well as patients and family members.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe common ethical dilemmas related to maternal-fetal rights.
  • Explain the role of various types of advance directives in the health care setting.
  • Identify the reasons for do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders.
  • Discuss ethical issues related to futile care.
  • Explain the types of euthanasia and ethical concerns related to them.
  • Discuss ethical dilemmas associated with assisted suicide.
  • Identify the role of health care ethics committees.

Ethical dilemmas occur in situations where a choice must be made between several unpleasant situations. They often occur whenever a choice involves giving up something positive and good and suffering something unpleasant and negative, no matter what course of action is taken. Ethical dilemmas may even require health care professionals to make decisions that cross ethical boundaries or contradict an ethical value. Examples of questions raised when an ethical dilemma arises include the following (WebMD, 2015; Pozgar, 2013):

  • Should a healthcare provider recommend lifesustaining therapy to a patient when he or she knows it is futile?
  • Should a person choose to carry a baby to term knowing the unborn child will be born with severe disabilities?
  • Should a healthcare provider encourage the abortion of a pregnant teenager—the victim of a gang rape—if she wants the abortion?
  • Should a healthcare provider ever hide information from a patient about a terminal diagnosis in an effort to raise their spirits or bolster their attitude?
  • Are there times when it is acceptable to cover up or avoid revealing a mistake by a health care professional if the mistake would not cause harm to a patient?
  • Is there ever a time when it is acceptable to perform a procedure that isn’t medically warranted, for reasons of defensive medicine?

There are many diverse ethical and legal issues impacting health care providers and the health care system. This material focuses on some of the most common issues.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
    The American Board of Managed Care Nursing recognizes all of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions' ANCC accredited courses for continuing education credit for Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCNs).
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC, is an approved provider of continuing education for occupational therapists by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Approved Provider # 3166
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
    This course is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 04/22/2021-04/22/2024. Social workers completing this course receive the specified distance learning continuing education credits.
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
    California Board of Behavioral Sciences Provider Number PCE 1564. Course meets the qualifications for the stated hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 14693 for the number of hours stated.
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
    The California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section accepts continuing education offered by CA-BRN approved providers.
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE BROKER after successful completion.
  • Florida Board of Nursing
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of nursing (CE Provider # 50-12076). Courses are automatically submitted to CE Broker.
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Council of Dietetitics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
    This course has been approved by ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #813, ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Provider Number 451562-11.
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
    ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of Massage Therapists
Course Expires:

May 13, 2024

Instructor(s):
  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

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