Objectively note the ethical issue that the nurse


Jessica Wilson, fifteen years old, has been brought into the Emergency Department by ambulance after fainting during a cross-country event at school. Jessica’s mother has been notified by the school and is on her way from work.
On assessment, Jessica’s haemoglobin level is in the low-normal range, therefore, the Registered Nurse (Sam) asks Jessica several questions to help determine why this may be and to determine why Jessica might have fainted. These questions include whether Jessica has eaten breakfast, whether she eats iron-rich food, whether she is menstruating and whether she is sexually active.
During this time, Jessica becomes upset and confides to Sam that she thinks she might be pregnant but that she does not want anyone else to know, especially her mother. After further questioning, it becomes clear to Sam that Jessica has no clear idea of what she is going to do about the suspected pregnancy.
Before Sam could begin to think the situation through, Mrs Wilson arrives at Jessica’s bedside and is concerned for her daughter. Mrs Wilson informs Sam that Jessica has been very tired lately and has had an upset stomach the last few days. Mrs Wilson asks Sam ‘Do you have any idea what could have caused this?
As Sam prepared to respond to Mrs Wilson, Jessica remained silent and glared at her.
Having read the scenario, please answer the following questions:
1. Clearly define the problem – Objectively note the ethical issue that the nurse (Sam) must address.
2. Examine the ethical and legal principles that apply to the case study.
3. Identify 2 options available to Sam in addressing the ethical problem identified in question 1 as they apply to the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for Nurses (2012).
4. Reflect on the options identified in question 3 and present a rationale as to which ONE of the options you would follow if you were in Sam’s position.