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Decision-Making

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Ethical Decision-Making: Case of “To Vaccinate, or Not?”

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I selected the “Incident 10: To Vaccinate, or Not?”. The article illustrates an instance with an ethical dilemma faced by a health care professional, Dr. Kerr. The healthcare professional has to deal with parents, the Smiths who are not ready to vaccinate their child. They are worried that the child might be a victim of the potential harms of the vaccine. According to the Smiths the potential harms of getting vaccinated outweighs the benefits. The health care professional might be tempted to say no. The article mentions that there are other children who have been vaccinated and did not suffer from the hazards of getting vaccinated. This is where a dilemma arises. Dr. Kerr will have to assess his ethical code and whether it should supersede the Smith’s decision even if that decision may seem wrong according to him. On one hand, he has to respect their decision because that is the best for their children, on the other hand, he remains an advocate of public health at large and would wish that everyone gets vaccinated as this will prevent potential diseases from spreading further in the community.

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According to Dr. Kerr, if Smith’s daughter, Anna is not fully vaccinated, there will be a potential danger of infection on her and the spread of the diseases such as the fatal Haemophilus influenzae type b. This may in turn result in an increase in child mortality rate. “Our analysis shows there is a clear association of unvaccinated children with increases in children’s mortality. Children who are at least partially vaccinated, on the other hand, appear to be associated with lower child mortality rates.” Of course we all know that it is not just vaccines but also other factors such as malnutrition and infections which can contribute to death. With this scenario in mind what does this say about the level of control that we have over many of these diseases? Are we as a society as well situated as to address and prevent these issues?

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The Smiths, however, do not fear that the potential harms of vaccines since they think that they outweigh their benefits. This statement is probably made to protect their own selfish interests.

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The article also mentions an instance where the parents are reluctant to vaccinate their child as she thinks that such a vaccination would cause autism to their daughter. It could be because parents have not received proper information on vaccines and they are just concerned about the end effects of vaccines. The article however states that this is highly unlikely to be true as it has definitely been proven by clinical trials conducted in various countries that children there is no vaccination that has been demonstrated to be a cause for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or any other developmental disability. Vaccines containing thimerasol, an element formerly considered to cause autism, do not raise the incidence of ASD, according to several studies.

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Therefore, when a child is not vaccinated, he or she posse a great challenge or problem of spreading diseases to other children around. There are health risks for both the child and other children besides just the risk of having a disease itself. Vaccinations are an important epidemic control tool to protect individuals from deadly diseases. Not vaccinating one’s child is dangerous because if that child were to get sick, he or she would then expose others around him or her (Treglia et al., 2021). Not vaccinating one’s child places another individual at risk of getting a terrible disease that could have been prevented by the vaccinations.

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In order for people to be immune against certain infections, they must get certain vaccinations against them at specific times. There are only two known ways in which children can become immune due to vaccines: natural immunity or prior vaccination experience with the virus. Parents who do not fully vaccinate their child are at a risk of losing their child. They have to behave ethically and ensure that the children get full vaccinated. The more a child is vaccinated, the better the immune system of that child gets. If a child is fully vaccinated, there are fewer chances of them getting sick because their bodies and immune systems will be stronger than those who have not been vaccinated. This kind of behavior should be encouraged as it has a positive effect on the individual and society. Health care professionals can recommend and encourage people about the importance of this behavior by using different propaganda tools such as leaflets, posters, videos and television shows.

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Moral awareness in ethical dilemma is a concept many people come across but not everyone understands. This article should help. In order for anyone to have the ability to make ethical decisions, they need a clear understanding of what it means and the process for reaching this understanding. Moral awareness in ethical dilemma guides a person from a particular profession to undertake ethical-decision making, It is the first step in the ethical decision-making model. It might also be known as ethical literacy or moral intelligence. Hence, Dr. Kerr should be aware of his personal values and morals.

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Therefore, personal awareness is vital aspect when making a personal judgement. Cognitive bias and individual differences are among the variables that tend to affect personal judgement. Any decisions made in the absence of personal awareness are unlikely to be moral. Morality is essential aspect when it comes to making personal judgements. Cognitive bias and individual differences are two variables that typically affect personal judgement. Any decision that is made without morality is unlikely to be ethical.

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The importance of morality when it comes to making a personal judgement cannot be overstated, with both cognitive bias and individual differences having an impact on how we judge our surroundings in any given scenario, which in turn has a bearing on the integrity of the final decision reached, which for this reason must always be guided by morality before it can qualify as an ethical one.

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The organization or the culture is also another aspect that greatly affects ethical decision-making process. The standards of behavior or the code of conduct can also alter moral judgement. However, irrespective of the status or culture, individuals still have their own sense of morality. The process of ethical decision making is often influenced by factors such as emotion and empathy.

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You need to consider a conscious execution in deciding what to do when you are faced with a dilemma involving moral judgement. With the help of your conscience, you’ll be able to make an ethical judgement on whatever matters you may have. A particular society’s culture is vital when it comes to ethics. Therefore, Dr. Kerr should ensure that his decision is in-line with the set standards of the people in the society. this will help in preventing any instances of chaos that may erupt from the judgement. She has a bigger duty of proposing and seeing to it that other parents living around the Smiths, are well educated about the significance of fully vaccinating their child.

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It’s important not to choose one decision out from many since each has its own pros and cons which needs careful consideration before making a final decision. This also means that there are no right or wrong as they’re all individual decisions depending on personal circumstances. Dr. Kerr should consider the fact that the Smiths think that they have adequate information on whether to vaccinate Anna or not. The doctor should be able to understand the parent’s concern and as a result ensure that they are well educated before he can make a judgement.

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Lastly, ethical behavior is a vital aspect in making a sound ethical-decisions. It involves personal and social values, such as having the courage to confront major challenges. Ethical behavior is not just about following a set of rules, but an individual’s personal sense of responsibility to his or her values and society. Ethical behavior in healthcare involves the rights, welfare and integrity of the patients, if ethics are not followed then it can have detrimental outcomes.

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British Medical Journal states that doctors have a responsibility to protect the public from scientific or medical practices which offer no personal benefit and/or are potentially harmful. Doctors do not need to be perfect, but as long as they try their best to behave ethically then this should be acceptable. The idea of informed consent was introduced in the late 1950s by Henry K Beecher (Giubilini, 2021). He found that in a number of studies the participants were unaware how the research would affect them and what exactly they were volunteering for. Dr. Kerr has the professional duty of behaving accordingly.

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In conclusion, it is ethically right that children are fully vaccinated. In addition, there is a moral imperative to vaccinate children before they are at risk of catching the disease from other children. As the majority of parents recognize and agree with these two points, it would be unethical for a parent to refuse vaccination for their child. The key point here is that all parents should have access to fully immunized, healthy children and work together as a community towards this important goal. Ultimately, this means that whether or not vaccinations are ethically right depends on the individual’s opinion on what is morally right. And since morality is relative in some cases, individuals must consider their own personal morals and ethics when making decisions like whether or not they should vaccinate their child.

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References

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Doherty, R. F. (2020). Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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Ethical Decision-Making Model . (2022). Retrieved 12 February 2022, from https://media.capella.edu/CourseMedia/nhs4000element18816/wrapper.aspGiubilini, A. (2021). Vaccination ethics. British medical bulletin, 137(1), 4-12.

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Treglia, G., Cuzzocrea, M., Giovanella, L., Elzi, L., & Muoio, B. (2021). Prevalence and significance of hypermetabolic lymph nodes detected by 2-[18F] FDG PET/CT after COVID-19 vaccination: a systematic review and a meta-analysis. Pharmaceuticals, 14(8), 762.

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