Ethical Issue: Do Not Resuscitate Case Study by KAO

Ethical Issue: Do Not Resuscitate
An exploration of the ethical dilemma of the 'do not resuscitate' order.
# 109000 | 780 words | 3 sources | APA | 2008 | US
Published on Nov 11, 2008 in Medical and Health (Nursing) , Ethics (General)

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This paper describes how the process of do not resuscitate (DNR) can be the source of an ethical dilemma for healthcare workers. The writer discusses a specific case that arose at Euclid Hospital that shows how nurses can be torn between their loyalty to the patient and to hospital policy. Euclid Hospital's risk management policy and ethical decision-making model are also described. The writer concludes that ethical dilemmas can be resolved by improved communication and by assessing each case individually.

Do Not Resuscitate
Policy vs. Patient Care
Ethical Responses
Risk Management
Ethical Decision Making Model

From the Paper:

"The primary nurse for this patient did initiate CPR. Family was not present and within two minutes the house physician was on the unit and a DNR order was written and life sustaining efforts ceased. The primary nurse in this situation acted under the ethical precept of deontology. Deontology is one system of ethical decision making. The theory is based on moral rules and unchanging principles. Deontology is based on the belief of standards present for the ethical choices and judgments that nurses make (Aiken, 2004). This approach would justify the nurse initiating CPR on this patient because she was following legal and professional rules."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Aiken, T. D. (2004). Legal, Ethical, and Political Issues in Nursing, (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill.
  • Jones, J. (2007). Do not resuscitate: Reflections on an ethical dilemma. Nursing Standard, 21(46), 35-39. Retrieved October 16, 2008 from ProQuest database.
  • Mueller, P., Hook, C., & Fleming, K. (2004). Ethical issues in geriatrics: A guide for clinicians. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 79(4), 554-562. Retrieved October 16, 2008 from ProQuest database.

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Ethical Issue: Do Not Resuscitate (2008, November 11) Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Issue: Do Not Resuscitate" 11 November 2008. Web. 21 March. 2023. <>