Dealing with ethical and moral dilemmas: tips for students
How to proceed when a patient refuses recommended treatment or you experience moral distress
As nursing students, we sometimes find ourselves in challenging situations that present ethical problems.
As a result, we may experience issues such as moral unpreparedness or moral distress (see box). One such situation is when patients refuse care or treatment that nurses and others believe they need .
‘We felt like we were letting her down’
This was the case with Mrs Morris (not her real name), a 77-year-old patient admitted from home to an orthopaedic ward after a fall. An X-ray confirmed that she had fractured her ribs and forearm. She was clearly in pain.
At handover, it was reported
Want to read more?
Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today
Save over 50% on your first three months:
- Customisable clinical dashboard featuring 200+ topics
- Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals including Nursing Standard
- RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
- NMC-compliant RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
- Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests