By definition, an ethical dilemma involves the need to choose from among two or more morally acceptable courses of action, when one choice prevents selecting the other; or, the need to choose between equally unacceptable alternatives (Hamric, Spross, and Hanson, 2000). Advances in medical and information technologies, increasing economic stress, and renewed emphasis on team-based approaches to care are among the many factors increasing the prevalence and complexity of ethical issues in healthcare. As you work with other clinicans to care for patients with complex needs, you will confront varying expectations and values, some of which will undoubtedly challenge your personal sense of morality. In this learning experience, you'll explore a systematic approach for ethical decision-making that will help you maintain an objective perspective as you seek a morally acceptable resolution to values-based dilemmas.

Select the Self-Reflect tab above to consider some common ethical challenges in healthcare.