Academic Master

Health Care

Ethical Dilemma In Palliative Care

Palliative care is an essential model of care for terminally ill patients. With the increased prevalence of chronic conditions such as cancer, palliative care has been advocated as a moral responsibility. However, ethical dilemmas are usually encountered during the provision of palliative care. These ethical dilemmas influence daily patient management in palliative care programs. An example of an ethical dilemma in palliative care includes the question of providing possible nutritional support to a patient who refuses to eat terminally ill, physician concern over the administration of morphine in cancer patients because of possible respiratory depression, which is likely to occur in the advanced cancer patient, and the question of providing parenteral fluid to the patient cannot ingest fluid in their terminal phases of illness (Wiegand, MacMillan, & Bousso, 2015). Another dilemma in the provision of palliative care involves the methodology, particularly for palliative care research, which is required to provide information about individuals who are physically or cognitively impaired and are not in a position to provide input regarding their needs during terminal phases of life.

According to Reed (2015), ethical dilemmas are encountered when providing palliative care for terminally ill patients, and this troubles the health provider, patient, and family members taking care of the patient. Good communication between healthcare providers and family members is important in improving attitudes towards these ethical dilemmas. Professional development based on the best research is applied to solve ethical dilemmas that are encountered during the provision of palliative care. Besides, education, which stresses medical ethics, is important for making informed decisions in the provision of palliative care. It is also important to focus on relieving the suffering of patients in the terminal phases of their lives and providing the necessary support for them. The provision of support to terminally ill patients is a critical part of the healthcare system (Reed, 2015).


Reed, C. J. (2015). Ethical dilemmas and end-of-life care. Nursing made Incredibly Easy, 13(6), 16-24.

Wiegand, D. L., MacMillan, J., & Bousso, R. S. (2015). Palliative and end-of-life ethical dilemmas in the intensive care unit. AACN advanced critical care, 26(2), 142-150.



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