Nursing Applying Ethical and Legal Principles to Resolve Ethical Dilemma in Nursing


Applying ethical and legal principles in the resolution of an ethical dilemma related to a specified area of professional nursing practice.

Case study

Tabitha is 16 years old, attends the local school when she is not sick, she lives with her two brothers and her parents and she was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. Tabitha is well supported by her family and her two best friends. She has received two courses of chemotherapy. She has shown maturity and understanding with respect to treatment decisions and she has a good relationship with the clinical team. Now she has got to the stage where she is .fed-up. of being in hospital and receiving unpleasant treatments. She is due to have another round of chemotherapy and she refuses to consent. Tabitha is told that without this next round of chemotherapy, it is likely that she will die within 3 months, but with treatment she has a 30% chance of survival for possibly 2 years. Her parents are supportive of her decision they wish her to have a peaceful and dignified end to her life.

  • Possible questions to consider:
  • Can Tabitha legally refuse treatment?
  • Should she be forced to have chemotherapy?
  • Can her parents give consent?

Use the Model for Ethical Decision Making to determine the rights of the client



This is a case study in Nursing. In this case study a 16 year old cancer patient after receiving two chemotherapy rounds decides not to consent for the third round of chemotherapy, though she has a chance to extend her life by up to 2 years. The question is whether her decision is legally valid or not and the reasons thereof. Such questions are answered in the solution.

Total word count is 2576.


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